Cathedral to Celebrate Mass of Thanksgiving & Welcome for New Pope

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
14 Mar 2013
Pope Francis is the world's 266th Pope and the first Jesuit and first Pontiff from the Americas
The appointment of a new Holy Father is a great joy for the Church, says Bishop Julian Porteous of the election of South American Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as the 266th Pope and leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
At 5.30pm today Bishop Porteous will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving and Welcome for the New Pontiff at St Mary's Cathedral to which all are welcome.
"The fact they made the decision was made so quickly is a sign that the Cardinals were able to identify the right man to assume the role of Pope," Bishop Porteous said this morning. "It is also important to appreciate that by taking the name of Pope Francis the new Holy Father has made a deliberate choice. St Francis of Assisi, from whom he has taken the name, shows the new Pope's committment to simplicity and humility."
St Francis of Assisi was born into great wealth but gave it all up to live and work with the poor.
Bishop Julian Porteous
Bishop Porteous points out that the new Holy Father's Episcopal motto, "Lowly but chosen," echoes the pontiff's dedication to living simply and without the trappings of wealth or materialism.
"As Archbishop of Buenos Aires he eschewed the palatial traditional residence and instead chose to live in a small apartment where he did his own cooking and was well known for taking the bus and using public transport," says Bishop Porteous and believes this is indicative of the new Pope's focus on poverty, humility and simplicity.
Coming from Argentina, Pope Francis would be very conscious of poverty and the plight of the poor across South America and be very sensitive to the needs of the poor, he adds.
Bishop Porteous believes Pope Francis will be a pastoral leader of the Church with a strong desire to communicate and link himself with the people.
"This was very evident when Pope Francis came out on the balcony of St Peter's early this morning Australian time and began his first address as Holy Father with the words: 'Buona Sera!' which is Italian for Good Evening. This was such a friendly open greeting to people and I believe this humility and openness will be one of the characteristics of his Papacy."
Bishop Porteous is Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation and Renewal for the Archdiocese of Sydney, is standing in for the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell while His Eminence is in Rome and will be principal celebrant at the Mass of Thanksgiving and Welcome to Pope Francis at St Mary's Cathedral at 5.30pm today.