It was announced this morning in Rome that Pope Francis will break with tradition and not celebrate the "Mass of the Lord's Supper" on the eve of Holy Thursday at either Saint Peter's or Saint John Lateran, his Cathedral. This simple liturgy which includes the mandate to service found in the washing of feet (as Jesus did at the Last Supper) begins the three sacred days at the heart of our liturgical year. The Holy Father will celebrate the Chrism Mass on that morning at Saint Peter's, but the evening Mass will be celebrated by the Holy Father at the Casal del Marmo, a correctional facility for juveniles in or near Rome. The Vatican Press office states that it is his desire to continue this tradition that he has participated in for many years in Buenos Aires - of ministering to the fringe of society and share with them the love that God has for them. Both Popes John Paul II and Benedict had visited there in past years, but this will be a first with a Triduum celebration.
In so many things that Pope Francis has said and done these last few days, he is giving the world an example of love and service that I find refreshing.
Picking up on his example and request to share with the needy, our parish on Tuesday, in honor of his installation as Bishop of Rome and in thanksgiving for this man of Faith, shared a gift for the service of the poor through three local outreach programs: our local Catholic Charities in the Greensburg Diocese, our local food bank sponsored by our Saint Vincent de Paul Society, and the local Meals on Wheels. May more be inspired to give of themselves in the name of the Lord.