Saturday, March 9, 2013


     We have a date!  The Cardinals have chosen Tuesday, March 12th, as the beginning of the Conclave to elect a new pope.  I understand that they will celebrate Mass in the morning, move into their residence, gather in the afternoon at a chapel in the Vatican and process to the Litany of the Holy Spirit into the Sistine Chapel.  After taking an oath, listening to a reflection, and the sealing of the Chapel, they will begin the process with a vote that evening.

     The Mass in the morning, the procession and litany are but a part of the intense prayer of the Cardinals and of the Church Universal for the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit upon this decision and this moment in history.

     I have heard a number of Cardinals (Dolan, Mahoney) and others recall that the primary feast in the month of March is that of Saint Joseph on March 19th (my apologies to all of the Irish, who hold March 17th sacred).  Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus, is the Patron of the Universal Church.  It has been suggested that special prayers or a novena to Saint Joseph, begin on the 10th of March, seeking his intercession before the throne of the Father on behalf of the Church.  A novena is a nine day series of prayers for the Lord's action on our behalf through the intercession of a particular saint.  This recommendation for our prayers and for the intercession of Saint Joseph is a wonderful way for us to participate in these moments of grace.  I am including the Collect Prayer for the Mass for the Election of a Pope for your prayerful consideration:

O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Good Saint Joseph, intercede for the Church.

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