Basilica celebrates the event with special serviceSt. James Basilica, its clergy and its congregation celebrated the selection of a new pope Wednesday with the ringing of bells, a special Eucharist and display of the papal flag.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
St. James Basilica, its clergy and its congregation celebrated the selection of a new pope Wednesday with the ringing of bells, a special Eucharist and display of the papal flag.
“I’m delighted,” said the Rev. Al Bitz, pastor of St. James Basilica, referring to some of Pope Francis’ opening words — “together we” and “brothers and sisters” — as inspirational.
A celebratory Eucharist was set for Wednesday evening at the basilica to celebrate the selection of the pope formerly known as Jorge Bergoglio,
“We chose the youth to provide the music to emphasize the church of youth, the church of the future,” Bitz said. “And we will invite the people to sign a special scroll that we will send to the pope.”
As a basilica, St. James is linked to the Chair of Peter, considered by the Roman Catholic Church to have been the first pope. According to a release from St. James, basilicas serve as destinations of pilgrims who wish to acknowledge the universal nature of the church founded on the “Rock of Peter” — the pope.
From now on services at the basilica will once again feature prayers for the pope, as well as the whole church and the entire world, Bitz said.
Having a pope means that the vacancy in the office of bishop for the Fargo Diocese can be filled, though it will likely take until October or November, Bitz said.
Pope Francis, a Jesuit from Argentina, had reportedly been the runner-up to Pope Benedict XVI in the last papal election.
“The reason I say (the selection) is great is because … in Argentina and Buenos Aires, there are many German Russian people. … so I’m sure that he’s very familiar with that group of people,” Bitz said. “That’s kind of significant.”
The pope’s decision to take the name “Francis” is also significant.
“Choosing the name Francis will especially emphasize the church of simplicity and the poor,” Bitz noted, adding that St. Francis of Assisi originated the Franciscan orders, which are also associated with poverty and simplicity.
And because Pope Francis came from the Jesuit religious order, he will also be accustomed to both collaboration and prayerful discernment, Bitz said.
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