Some days, it’s great to be a nun. Yesterday, was one of those days.
Three of the sisters in my community were sharing the “smoke watch,” starting Tuesday evening. Sister Maureen was watching on Salt + Light’s app and saw the moment it was reported that the smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel was white (around 2 PM). Two of us ran to turn on the TV, and the rest of us finished up doing the dishes and joined them. I had a phone meeting scheduled with other Daughters of Saint Paul around North America at 2:30, so I immediately texted one of the sisters about delaying or canceling the meeting. (Then, I confess, I ran down to my office and set up my computer screen so that, even if I needed to call in, I could still watch what was happening at St. Peter’s!)
Of course, all of the sisters agreed to cancel the meetings, and the apostolate that I was going to do slid to the backburner while together, our community did the most important thing we could do: praying for our new Holy Father. While we waited in suspense, we chatted, flipped channels to find the best commentary and the best shot of “the Window”, and prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our new Holy Father, whoever he was! (I was also following my twitter feeds and enjoying all the comments–especially when @Pontifex went live!)
The Pope’s first moments shared with the world were deeply, deeply moving: that he would invite us all to pray for our Pope Emeritus, that he would ask us to pray for him before giving us his blessing, that he would take the name Francis (after St. Francis of Assissi, known as the “poverello”)… And then, that evening, I had the joy of hosting our Pauline Cooperators’ meeting, which included an Hour of Adoration where we could fulfill the wish of our Pope Francis and pray for him. And this morning, his visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major (which holds a special place in my heart), praying to the Blessed Mother, stopping to bless an expectant mother. I look forward to learning more about Pope Francis, and heeding his invitation to follow Christ more closely.
What a great day to be a nun–to be able to drop everything and spend the afternoon praying with the Church and rejoicing so deeply that we have our new Holy Father!
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Just a note about my favorite postings about Pope Francis this morning:
The reaction of our sisters at our Boston convent, televised by New England Cable News.
Salt + Light’s reaction to Pope Francis–Perspectives Conclave Special a more in-depth commentary with Kris Dmytrenko, Bishop William McGrattan, Archbishop Terence Prendergast–a Jesuit, and Dr. Moira McQueen.