Gannon Celebrates New Pope with Mass - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Gannon Celebrates New Pope with Mass

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Gannon University celebrated the new Pope Thursday, with a special mass at the Mary Seat of Wisdom Chapel.

"We gather in gratitude for this great gift that God has given to the Church in Pope Francis," Father Kesicki preached during the homily.

Fr. Kesicki went on to praise the new pontiff; a strong leader, as proven by his faithful followers in his home diocese of Buenos Aires.

"They refer to him as Padre Jorge, Father Jorge," Kesicki said. "They really have a strong sense of him as their father."

Fr. Kesicki isn't just speaking from what he's read or heard, though. He met Bergoglio at a conference in 2008, where he said the new Pope made a lasting impression.

"We went for the International Eucharistic Congress and he gave one of the catechetical talks during the week- it was a rather brilliant talk I might add- so I know he is a really fine pastor, a sound theologian, a real man of the people and a real man in the house of the church."

Monsignor Tom McSweeney-who was a religion analyst for MSNBC during the last papal election- believes those qualities will contribute to Bergoglio's success as a leader.

His potential is also aided by the fact that he's distanced himself from the somewhat controversial Vatican bureaucracy.

"Pope Francis is, in a sense, untainted by all of the machinations that we've been hearing about, some of the financial scandals some of the Vatican leaks, all of that sort of thing," said McSweeney. "This is a plus for us to anticipate him coming in there with a broom... and confronting those issues."

As Bergoglio takes his seat in Catholic history, Father Kesicki reminded churchgoers to examine the principles of the Pope's namesake, Saint Francis, in their own lives.

"We ourselves are called in our own way in our unique vocations to be as Christ among our brothers and sisters as one who serves."

Pope Francis will be officially installed on Tuesday, March 19.

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