We welcome Pope Francis!
It is with great joy that the Diocese of Parramatta receives the news of the election of Pope Francis as the 266th Bishop of Rome. Bishop Anthony Fisher OP shared his delight and asked the people of Parramatta to pray for the newly elected pontiff:
“Habemus papam - we have a Pope! The Church in Parramatta cheers with the rest of humanity at the happy news. He is a deeply spiritual man who is highly respected as a theologian and an intellectual. He is a humble man and a great defender of the poor. In his first words as Pope, Pope Francis spoke of building fraternity, love and trust. Please offer your Masses and prayers for Pope Francis, today and in the days ahead.”
Pope Francis chose his papal name in memory of St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), known throughout the generations as a man of peace, a champion of the poor, steward of creation and inspiration for Christian reconciliation. The life of this twelfth-century mendicant friar provides a fitting backdrop for the elevation of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to the Petrine Office. This ‘new’ Francis in our midst fills the Diocese of Parramatta with hope, for the renewal that the Church has undergone in every age.
Much closer to home, we hope and pray that our Diocesan Pastoral Plan will also be a source of renewal so that the Gospel we have received finds a true home in our families, parishes and vocations. There is a bright future for faith in our Diocese.
The then-Archbishop Bergoglio underlined the significance of our faith as something that is to be shared, remarking recently on the Year of Faith inaugurated by his predecessor:
“Benedict XVI has insisted on the renewal of faith being a priority and presents faith as a gift that must be passed on, a gift to be offered to others and to be shared as a gratuitous act. It is not a possession, but a mission. This priority indicated by the Pope has a commemorative purpose: through the Year of Faith we remember the gift we have received. And there are three pillars to this: the memory of having been chosen, the memory of the promise that was made to us and the alliance that God has forged with us. We are called to renew this alliance, our belonging to the community of God’s faithful.”
We pray and hope that our Diocesan Pastoral Plan will bring a renewed awareness and commitment to our faith as a living gift, as the life of Jesus Christ being received and passed on from one generation to the next.
We pray in gratitude and in hope for our new Pope Francis and for our Church!
Yours in Christ,
Posted by Daniel Ang at 4:23 PM