NH residents welcome new Pope with open arms
A nun takes communion from Bishop Libasci, who was officiating the Mass in celebration of selection of new Pope, at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
But with little known about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Catholics hung on every word, every movement, every action of Pope Francis.
"(The name) Francis, it just really does bring it down, doesn't it, to the people," said Bishop Peter Libasci after leading a Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. "You know how people love St. Francis - St. Francis and the animals, St. Francis and the poor. That wonderful story about how he just gave everything to the poor. I think he's saying something very, very important here."
Eight priests and two bishops - former Bishop John McCormack and Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian - celebrated a special Mass alongside Libasci Wednesday evening. The service included incense, a choir and about 400 congregants.
"I like that he's from the Western Hemisphere, he's Spanish-speaking, and he's so humble," said Bedford resident Susan Lang as she entered the church.
Hispanics were especially elated. At St. Anne-St. Augustin Parish in Manchester, which ministers to Hispanics and other immigrant groups, the pastor said he witnessed a 64-year-old parishioner jump like a teenager.
"It's absolutely wonderful. The New World has become as important as the Old World," said the Rev. Joseph Gurdak, a Capuchin-Franciscan, who spent years in Central America.
Gurdak said he is also encouraged that Bergoglio lives in an apartment, cooked his own meals and chose to live like ordinary Argentinians.
"People in the United State of America, whether they're Latino or not, they would be proud someone from the Americas is a Pope," said Gustavo Moral, a native Ecuadoran and Bedford business owner who attends church at St. Anne-St. Augustin.
New Hampshire had slight connections to two of the cardinals thought to be in the running for Pope. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, was geographically as close as possible to a favorite son. And Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the former archbishop of Quebec, was succeeded by Gerald Lacroix, who grew up in Manchester.
Libasci, whose Italian heritage matches that of the new Pope, said he was impressed over how Pope Francis approached the balcony at St. Peter's Basilica. Most Popes do so with raised hands, but Libasci noted that Francis kept his at his side.
"He did not make any fanfare, but just greeted the world with a simple hello," the bishop said.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Bishop of Rochester, N.Y., will be homilist for annual Red Mass - 0
- Religion Briefs: Divorce and separation support group meets in Goffstown - 0
- Annual dedication of Starr Memorial Garden scheduled - 0
- Bethany Covenant Church in Bedford celebrates 125 years, looks toward future - 0
- Season of Epsom Bible Church AWANA Clubs to begin - 0
- St. Michael's church in Exeter to offer financial course - 0
- Nursing home chaplain launches ministry - 0
- Milford Bible study group to meet on Sept. 10 - 0
- Hundreds attend Mass for slain journalist from NH - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Another View -- Bill Duncan: What did the NH Supreme Court really say about private school funding? - 6
- Charles Arlinghaus: NH's job problem needs more than one fix - 3
- USNH's raw deal: Part deux - 2
- Every vote counts: Here is the proof - 4
- College Sports Roundup: NEC's Locke scores twice in soccer win - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Campbell, Jutras blank Gilford - 0
- Pirates stay hot, blank Red Sox - 0
- Londonderry police to open station to residents - 0
- Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua - 2
Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua
Seabrook mom pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder of her two children
Alleged accomplice in brutal Bedford home invasion, attack on doctor and wife, says his testimony was coerced
Win tickets to see Demi Lovato
Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable
Another View -- Bill Duncan: What did the NH Supreme Court really say about private school funding?
Every vote counts: Here is the proof