The Catholic Church is no longer without a leader. There is a new Pope in town. His name is Pope Francis.
I am personally very pleased to see the Pope coming from South America and that the Catholic Church has replaced Pope Benedict XVI. I am not Catholic. I want to make that perfectly clear. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Catholic. I am been to exactly one Catholic Mass. I went in the summer of 2012. It was at a time of my life where I wasn’t exactly feeling love from my former church, the Community Church of the Open Door. I felt I needed a break. To try something new. It took a while to decide on anything because I work a lot of Sunday mornings. I decided at some point to try a Catholic Mass. It’d been in the back of my head for months. I had several friends from high school who are Catholic. I have to say that I have never seen more legitimate faith than from some of my friends who were Catholic. The Mass I went to was at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, one of the branches of the St. Paul the Apostle Parish. It was one of the strangest, yet oddly illuminating, experiences of my entire life. This Church made feel quite at home. I may have one or two things wrong. In fact, I think I probably did everything wrong. But I liked it. I liked the way the music was. Normally, I absolutely hate hymns. But that day, that one time, I felt quite at home while doing it. Maybe doing it sporadically is the way to go. All due respect to Church of the Open Door, the music is the same every week. The message was incredible. It told the story of how nobody seemed to really care what Jesus supposedly was doing when he returned to his hometown. I liked that. I liked the way the priest treated his congregation. Sure it was way more formal than I was used to. But I liked it. It was my first Mass and I really did enjoy it. I’m not saying that I’m about to join the Catholic Church. But I will always remember that Mass. I will always remember the excellent friendships I had with my Catholic friends when I was in school.
There are several things I would like to see from Pope Francis I. When I went back to my old high school to interview my old chemistry teacher for a project regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, my teacher, Mrs. Lammert, said that she wanted to see the Pope bring Catholics home. This Pope has already made himself quite popular. On the night he was elected, Pope Francis took the bus with the cardinals back to the hotel to gather his bags. He used to take the bus to get his groceries when he was serving in Argentina. This is exactly what I think the Church needs. They need a Pope, who can bring Catholics and non-Catholics together. The Church’s reputation will never be restored thanks to the sex scandals. But it can heal. And I think Pope Francis is the man to do it. Good luck Pope Francis. May God bless you for many years.