INTRODUCTION – Pope Francis, our now not-so-new Pope, continues to mesmerize millions. It’s mind-blowing to think that six million people gathered together with Pope Francis at Manila Bay. As Francis himself would say – They came in great numbers because of the ardent faith of so many in the Philippines. To say the least about our not-so-new Holy Father, because of the “off the top of the head” style of airplane press conferences, I would describe Pope Francis as “predictably unpredictable” or “unpredictably predictable”. Many folks are very happy when the Pope travels from Rome to fields afar, for this will mean that there will be another airplane press conference in the offing, perhaps 30,000 feet over the waters of the Pacific.
Many of us here this evening, I’m sure, would admit that we are among those mesmerized by Jorge Bergoglio. Certainly, those here at the parish who are responsible for adult education planning in their search for a Lenten theme 2015 have made the suggestion that we revisit Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation – “The Joy of the Gospel”.
(The full text of Fr. Connelly’s lecture can be found on his blog Prayer and Intelligence)