Habemus Papam! - Habemus monialis!
We have a Pope! - We have a nun!
What a day today has been! 3-13-13... It has been a very moving day, actually.
This morning, while my students were working on proposals for their group semester project, I was typing an e-mail. I noticed that an e-mail came in. Being the curious person I am, I made sure the draft was saved and went to my inbox. I had received an e-mail from our Superior General, Sr. Franca, in Rome. The subject line? "Good news." I knew what it was immediately.
It is difficult for me to describe the emotions I felt as I read that I have been accepted for Perpetual Vows as a Daughter of Mary Immaculate. The Sisters have said yes to my humble request to remain a Marianist Sister for the rest of my life. Wow. Just typing that is exciting and makes me smile. I think the best way to describe how I felt was joy. Plain and simple. No more hypothetically speaking... no more "if I am approved..." That's fantastic. :)
Then, while meeting with 2 coworkers in the library, another co-worker who had CNN.com open on her laptop turns to tell us, "White smoke... we have a Pope." Thankfully, I didn't have a class during the last period of the day. So I spent the next hour staring at my computer screen with yet another co-worker waiting for the announcement. In fact, I'm not sure many people at school who were not actually in class got any work done during the last period of the day. In our office, everyone's live feed kept freezing (rebuffering? rebuffeting?). It was exciting and nerve wracking. The hour seemed to pass very slowly.
Then... there was a shadow... a movement behind the white curtains on the balcony. Here it comes. The news feed all of us were watching, NBCnews.com, was odd. The translator said, "We have a Pope." Then there was silence. After the silence, he heard that his name would be "Francesco." Who was it? What's the name? What did they say? Then, we saw his picture and his name. An Argentinian none of us had ever heard of. He had not been in any of the lists of Papabili I had seen. After his comments, prayer and blessing, I Googled him (of course!). I wanted to know something about our new Pope.
I didn't do any in depth reading, but what I did read was edifying.
Our Sr. Laura said it well on her recent Facebook update: As Cardinal, Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. A simple lifestyle has contributed to his reputation for humility. He lives in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop's residence. He gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation, and he reportedly cooks his own meals.
This was backed up by everything I read. He was an Archbishop "of the people." Someone who traveled to the parishes to get to know the people he served. He was pastoral and concerned about the poor of his country. Our Sisters in Argentina have met him and have been in meetings with him. Their sentiments are positive. To sum it up, "Bergoglio is known for a simple lifestyle and for dedication to social justice."
This disposition was evident in his comments from the balcony. His prayers for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. His request for the prayers of all of us... his comments about the journey all of us travel together... and his appeals to unity. Lastly, I read (again on Facebook) that he took a city bus tonight back to the hotel (not really sure that's true, but it fits what I've read).
Therefore, it makes sense that he would take the name of Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. Francis who loved poverty. Francis once said, "Poverty is the way to salvation, the nurse of humility, and the root of perfection. Its fruits are hidden, but they multiply themselves in infinite ways." Francis was also a man of peace and humility. And the one to whom God gave the mission of rebuilding the Church.
There is more that I can say. However, there are others who have said it better...
I got a phone call this afternoon from a friend in Rome who happened to be at St. Peter's for the announcement. I invite you to check out his blog: Bro. Bob's blog.
I leave you with Pope Francis' final words from the balcony, "Good night and sleep well."
Blessings to all who read this!