Fredericksburg Catholics Pray for Conclave, New Pope
The Catholic Diocese of Arlington issued a prayer which is being used in Mass at local churches.
Local Catholics are praying for the Papal Conclave as it meets to choose the new pontiff.
"Everyday at Mass we are praying for the Cardinals as they meet to make the selection of the new Pope," Eva Radel, St. Patrick parishioner, told Patch. "The Bishop of the Diocese sent a prayer and asked us to pray," she said.
Fredericksburg churches are part of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, which serves 68 parishes in 21 counties.
Black smoke appeared at the Sistine Chapel chimney Tuesday.
Read more about the conclave and the voting process.
Diocesan Bishop Paul S. Loverde wrote about the current transition within the Catholic Church in the Catholic Herald:
"With the Cardinal Electors from around the world gathering in Rome to elect a new Pope, the emotions of the faithful are understandably mixed at this momentous transition. Some may enthusiastically await the announcement of the new Holy Father, whoever he may be. Others may be worried about the future of the Church under new leadership. Still others may not understand why Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to do so in many centuries, resigned. ... Ultimately, these feelings should be based in an unwavering faith that the Holy Spirit is with us, guiding the Church at every moment and in every age."
"We received permission from the Bishop to offer a Mass specifically for the Cardinals," Father Hudgins of Fredericksburg's St. Jude Catholic Church said. During the daily 9 a.m. Mass, Father Hudgins offers Mass prayers only said when electing a Pope. "This is one of the few times this Mass with these special prayers are ever said."
What do you hope for in the new Pope? Tell us in the comments section at the end of this article.
Bishop Loverde attended the last General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 27 and wrote:
"Along with the 200,000 who filled St. Peter's Square, I experienced the profound love that Pope Benedict XVI has for the Lord and for His Church. His decision to resign the papacy clearly reflects his willingness to take whatever course of action will best serve the People of God."
"The Pope clearly urges us to have faith that the Lord was with us during his pontificate and will continue to be with us through the Conclave and in the reign of future pontiffs."
The Catholic Diocese of Arlington is providing resources on its web page regarding the election of the new pontiff. There are more than 450,000 registered parishioners in the diocese, according to Mike Donohue, diocesan director of communications.
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