TRURO – Catholics worldwide are still talking about their new pope, and that discussion has been embraced in Truro as well.
Father Dariusz Miskowicz, priest at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church on Prince Street, said the choosing of Argentine cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (known as Pope Francis), 76, on Wednesday to replace retiring pope Benedict XVI was a highlight for the church locally as well, despite happening so far away, in Rome.
“It will not directly affect Truro …. (but) people are talking and excited,” said Miskowicz.
In his personal opinion, choosing a new pope is a moment of “hope” for the church, worldwide, and is a reminder of “what God wants for His church.”
Miskowicz, who has been a priest for 18 years and is originally from Poland, said he was anxiously watching television last week to see the momentous event. When the black smoke pouring out of the Vatican’s chimney turned to white smoke, it was a signal that the new pope had been elected. Miskowicz said that moment was thrilling to see, even if it was only on TV.
“There’s a happiness in your soul … all the world is united in faith,” he said.
Truro’s Gail Keddy, a member of Immaculate Conception for 25 years, is thrilled Pope Francis has stepped into the role.
“He sounds fantastic … the way he’s presented himself and is willing to listen to the people,” said Keddy.
Keddy said even though the pope resides in Rome, there is great relevance for Catholics locally.
“To me, I care because our direction (in the Catholic Church) comes from him. If we have concerns, somewhere up the ladder they will be understood,” said Keddy, adding she appreciates the new pope’s personal qualities.
“As a Jesuit he has a different background ... I like that he’s helped the poor … and he even got his own luggage” and pays his own bills, which speaks of his humility, she said.
Truro’s Ted Fitzgerald also believes the right person was chosen to lead Catholics worldwide.
“I think it was a great choice. He’s a very humble man. Very selfless and very dedicated to the church,” Fitzgerald told the Truro Daily News.
Fitzgerald was watching for the official announcement on television last week. When the announcement was made, Fitzgerald was surprised.
“I thought it would have taken longer,” than two days he said, adding it was the right move for former pope Benedict to retire.
“He had bad health and did the honorable thing,” by stepping down.
“I’m glad Benedict stepped down. John Paul (Benedict’s predecessor) was sick and had to deal with that in the public,” she said.