Archbishop Prendergast celebrates new pope

sage in the choice of his name for the Church’s preferential option for the poor.” For many the name Francis and the Cath-

olic Church conjures up the image of St. Francis of Assisi of the 13th century, patron saint of animals and the environment, who is often pictured in paintings and icons sur- rounded by birds and other creatures. He is one of the two patron saints of Italy and founded both the Franciscan order of monks and two other religious orders, all of which are dedicated to working with the poor. Political pundits who follow Church af- fairs describe Cardinal Bergoglio as “a man who calmly stands for what’s right and just” and has “great compassion for the poor” and that his election as pope may indicate a shift towards a more sympathetic adminis- tration in Vatican City. Francis is now one of the most popular names for boys in the Americas. Besides St. Francis of Assisi it is also the name of

another past leading Catholic missionary, St. Francis Xavier who worked in eastern Asia. The name Francis itself, means “a free Frenchman” and was given to the original St. Francis by his Italian father who was an admirer of the French. “In Canada, we celebrate the broad cross- section of the Church’s cultural richness and linguistic diversity,” stated Archbishop Pren- dergast.“In our own local circumstances, we see manifest the oneness of the Universal Church and so we rejoice in a special way with a Pope from the Americas. In these tu- multuous times, we support with our prayer and personal good wishes Pope Francis’s ministry of the New Evangelization, spread- ing of the Good News of Jesus Christ as the answer to the search for the ultimate mean- ing of life that weighs heavily on the hearts of many across the world.”


Photo Ottawa Diocese

OTTAWA | The leader of the National Capi- tal region’s Catholics celebrated the elec- tion of a new pope following the St. Pat- rick’s Day weekend. The Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, archbishop for the Ottawa archdiocese, of- ficiated at a Mass of Thanksgiving on March 19 at Notre Dame Cathedral in honour of the new pope-designate, Francis I. Archbishop Prendergast held a news conference following the March 13 an- nouncement that the Conclave of Cardi- nals in Vatican City had settled on Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the fifth ballot as the new Bishop of Rome to take the place of Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his decision to retire earlier in the year. Cardinal Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina, has ad- opted the papal name of Francis I. “It is with great joy and thanksgiving that I extend my fraternal greetings and prayerful best wishes to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on his election as Bishop of Rome,” stated Archbishop Prendergast. “This is truly a his- toric moment for the Church when her uni- versal character is manifested to the world.” Archbishop Prendergast noted that Cardi- nal Bergoglio’s choice of Francis as his papal name is significant concerning the direc- tion for the new papal ministry. “Pope Francis has sent a powerful mes-

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Archbishop Terrance Prendergast of the Ottawa diocese has high hopes for the future of the Catholic Church with the ascension of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the papal seat as Francis I.

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