Inspiration from the New Pope

When I first heard that the 76-year-old Cardinal from Argentina was chosen as the new Roman Pontiff, I was stunned and almost dismayed with the result of the 2013 Conclave because like most Catholics across the globe, I was hoping for a younger Pope to head the universal church and help reignite the faith among passive Catholics who are increasingly attracted to evangelical and fundamentalist groups. But when I read the profile of the Pope and the testimonies of the people who knew him personally, I was astonished how admiring he is, how, as a Cardinal responded to his pastoral mission to care for the poor and defend the teachings of the church.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis. Vatican officials stated that the new pope should not be called "Francis I" because no Francis before him had reigned as Roman Pontiff, he is the first Francis to ascend the throne of St. Peter, so he is simply His Holiness, POPE FRANCIS.

Pope Francis is God's answer to the cries of the Catholic Church seeking for a new leader that could inspire every believer to remain faithful to the church's teachings and traditions. At 76, he is not new to criticism and issues on morality and the challenges that confronted the foundation of the universal church. He is largely seen as someone who can unite the divided church.

According to one Vatican observer: "The rise of secularism, fundamentalists and evangelical groups that confused Roman Catholics has been a great challenge to the Vatican".

With the election of Pope Francis, I have high hopes he can help reignite the passion of the faithful. I am confident he can keep the "flock" intact and inspire them to remain faithful and loyal to the traditions and pastoral mission of the Catholic Church.

The Holy Father took the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a great reformer of the universal church who was famous for his simplicity, deep spirituality and humility, characteristics that best described also the new pope.

May his detachment from luxury and extravagance will serve as inspiration to the rest of humanity. I am more inspired to remain simple and modest and to remain devoted to my Catholic faith.

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