Minn. Catholics celebrate selection of Pope Francis - New York News

Minn. Catholics celebrate selection of Pope Francis

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Catholics across the world are welcoming Pope Francis to his post, and followers in Minnesota tell FOX 9 News they are enjoying the excitement of meeting the new head of the Catholic Church.

The doors of several sanctuaries across the state have already been draped with buntings baring the papal colors of white and yellow, and the papal flag will be hung and lit by the Paschal candle inside the Basilica of St. Mary.

The Basilica also announced a schedule of events to celebrate the inauguration of Pope Frances, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Argentina, on Wednesday.

The first event will take the form of a noon mass on Thursday, where special prayers will be offered for the new Pope with the cantor and organ.

On March 19 at 9:30 a.m., Pope Francis will be officially installed as the new leader of the Church. The Basilica also plans to hold a mass on the Solemnity of St. Joseph in honor of the inauguration with choir and organ.

Since the Basilica is designated, a special ceremonial umbrella and bell will also be used in the procession and recession. Historically, those items were likely used to lead Roman processions from church to church to alert clergy of the arriving papal procession.

Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt sent a letter on the election of Pope Francis that can be read in full below.

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a joyous day for the Church! Today, we raise our hearts together in thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for this great gift of our new Holy Father. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ for the blessing of our Pope Francis!

To our Holy Father Pope Francis, I offer my deep fraternal affection and I renew my pledge of obedience. May our prayers be joined today and in the coming days for our new Holy Father.

And let us celebrate joyfully with all people of good will and especially as fellow Catholics, united in faith, hope and love!

God bless you!

Archbishop John Nienstedt

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