nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe


Local News arrow Kim Walter arrow Religion

| 0

For local Catholics, pope's election 'a great night for the church'


By Kim Walter

Local Catholics were thrilled with the election of Pope Francis on Wednesday afternoon, and they plan to celebrate for days to come.

Father Stanley Krempa of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester said he sat in his office and watched the announcement on television, just like many around the world. He said the decision to choose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, of Argentina was surprising, but also made him happy.

The current pope wasn't widely talked about or discussed as a possible papal candidate, and Krempa admitted that he didn't know much about him. However, his first impression of the pope was a good one.

"I think it's a wonderful choice," he said Wednesday afternoon. "In one way, it shows continuity because I'm sure [Francis] will continue the initiatives of Benedict. But, the choice also shows that the church can turn new corners."

Francis is the first Jesuit and first Latin American to be elected pope. He is also the first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years.

"About 50 percent of the Catholic population is from Latin America, so I think it's great," he said.

The pope's choice of name also helped Krempa form an opinion.

"I think it reflects the simplicity that is associated with St. Francis of Assisi," he said. "It was evident in his face, his demeanor that he had a strong connection with the people."

"There are so many things that divide people. Some core issues, and some superficial things, so it's nice to have someone who seems to want to bring people together," Krempa said.

Timothy O'Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, was present in St. Peter's Square during the announcement. He was in Rome providing voiceover coverage for Vatican TV and Radio, as well as appearing as a guest on EWTN's live programming from Rome.

From 4:30 p.m. until hours after the white smoke appeared, O'Donnell was a part of the large crowd that was there to celebrate the news. He said he stood next to a few people from Latin America, and could tell they were "touched."

"It was a very historic, great night for the church," he said. "The bells began ringing joyously, music played, the crowed chanted and cheered ... and [Francis] spoke so tenderly and beautifully."

He said the setting for the occasion, even through the rain and cold, was made perfect through lighting and carrying out the traditional ceremony.

"God bless the Romans, because they know what they're doing," he said, laughing.

O'Donnell said one of the most moving things during the night was how Pope Francis was greeted with "such great affection," even though many were surprised by the choice.

"I can't even explain how it felt when he asked all of us to join him in prayer, and the entire square went silent," he said.

O'Donnell shared in Krempa's feeling that the choice in name was on purpose.

"There is a real humility about this man ... from what I've heard he cooks for himself and takes public transportation, lives in a small apartment," O'Donnell said. "He spoke of brotherhood. He won the people over quickly and drew them to him."

O'Donnell said special masses will be held for the next few days at the college, and Krempa said it will be a topic of discussion and celebration in the Sacred Heart Academy.

"There was a bit of an emptiness with the former pope's resignation, but tonight the lights will be on," O'Donnell said. "We just rejoice; there's a man at the helm."

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com


Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.













Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Joe Beck Josette Keelor Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Sally Voth School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com