If you read my blog of March 3 and March 7, you will know that it was my dream and prayer that the Mass of Inauguration for our new Pope would be on Tuesday, March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Church.
Now, it's going to happen! That date was set by Pope Francis the First last night, and it will be so memorable to join him in the Mass which officially begins his term as our new Pope.
St. Joseph has long been a personal patron Saint. In all four Gospels there is no mention of Joseph saying any words. Rather, his life was devoted to following God's will, caring for Mary and Jesus, and working quietly to safeguard the Holy Family. His life-witness is what has always struck me as so inspirational.
It was in God's providence that I was ordained a priest on May 1, 1962--the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Then, on March 19, 1975 I was ordained a Bishop.
This year I will celebrate my 38th anniversary as a Bishop together with Pope Francis the First at St. Peter's here in Rome. What a great joy that will be!!
A special Thank You for all of you who prayed that the Holy Spirit would enlighten us to choose the right man to be the Successor to St. Peter. Those prayers were so fruitful!
When I entered the Conclave, and our first ballot took place, I was thinking of three possible candidates. However, when I opened the small ballot to place a name there, no hesitation. It felt as if I were not writing the name, but that some power had taken my pen in hand and was doing the writing for me. Within seconds the name was on the first and the subsequent ballots.
St. Peter, pray for us and the Church!