Today’s Mass to celebrate the election of Pope Francis was a moment of gratitude for us, said Archbishop Allen Vigneron during his homily at today’s 6 p.m. Mass.
“We are here so that we — in the name of all the people of the Archdiocese of Detroit — can thank God that he has answered our prayers,” said the archbishop to a few hundred gathered for the liturgy, in a homily that transitioned between English and Spanish. He added that we also are praying that God gives Pope Francis the strength and wisdom he needs to exercise his ministry as pope.
Dozens of priests concelebrated the Mass, as did Detroit Auxiliary Bishops Donald Hanchon, Michael Byrnes and Arturo Cepeda.
The Gospel, from John 21, depicted Christ asking Saint Peter to feed his sheep. A pope, likewise, Archbishop Vigneron said, is meant to feed his flock.
“It is Peter’s job to feed and to love,” he said. “(We) ask God to give him the graces that the Holy Father needs to feed us by word and sacrament.”
He asked those gathered “to embrace again the food of God’s mercy, to receive it in humility.”
“Let us recommit ourselves to our own share in the apostolate,” he said.
Archbishop Vigneron pointed out that Pope Francis brought two specific gifts to the papacy — that he is from the Church in Argentina, and that he is a Jesuit. It was fitting, he added at the end of the Mass, that among concelebrants were Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, prvincial of the Chicago and Detroit Province of Jesuits, and two priests from the Miles Christi religious order, which is based in Argentina and has a local ministry in South Lyon.