Pope Francis puts flowers on the altar inside St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome, March
March 14, 2013
Saint Vincent Seminary is truly an international seminary. Here, Jennifer Reeger of the Tribune-Review interviews Edison Arias, a seminarian from Diocese of Metuchen; Br. Martinho Zevallos, O.S.B., a monk from Brazil who is a native of Peru; Marcel Alvarenga, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Campinas; and Mauricio Tabera, a seminarian from the Diocese of Metuchen who is a native of Colombia.
Third-year St. Vincent College seminarian Marcel Alverenge viewed Wednesday's selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as pope as another one of God's surprises.
“He is good at doing that,” said Alverenge, 26, of Brazil.
As Pope Francis, Bergoglio becomes the first pope from South America, thrilling people of South and Central American heritage.
“I'm extremely happy,” said Monica Aveni-Ranii, 53, of Wilkins, who moved to Western Pennsylvania from Mendoza, Argentina, 25 years ago. “I've had calls from Venezuela, tons of emails. … It makes me very proud.”
Bergoglio is the first non-European to lead the church in more than 1,000 years.
The new pope comes from a country where 90 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, which made for quite a culture shock for Aveni-Ranii when she arrived in the United States.
The Argentine connection to Western Pennsylvania is a small one, census records show.
According to the 2010 census, Pennsylvania had 4,269 people who claimed Argentine ancestry. The Pittsburgh metro area had 593 people, and the city, 244.
The choice of Bergoglio was not a complete surprise, said Kathleen DeWalt, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
Brazil and Argentina “are both strong Catholic countries with European roots,” she said.
Bergoglio “is fairly conservative, but the reality of where he grew up is quite different than Europe and the United States,” DeWalt said.
Anthony Falcon opened his Strip District restaurant Gaucho Parrilla Argentina five weeks ago. Although he is not Catholic, he was excited for Argentina, the country from which his father hails and where his siblings were born.
“It's definitely an honor for Argentina,” said the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Falcon, 39.
St. Vincent seminarian Mauricio Tabera was in English class when his professor stopped everything so the students could watch the announcement of the new pope.
And when Tabera, 28, a native of Colombia, saw the new pope hailed from Argentina, he could hardly contain his excitement.
“We are very far away from our countries, but we feel like this election is an opportunity to show how good people in Latin America are,” Tabera said.
Craig Smith is a staff writer for TribTotal Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or email@example.com.Staff writers Jennifer Reeger and Brian Bowling contributed to this report.
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'Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam'
The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lord
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ
who assumes for himself the name
The newly elected Pope Francis joked with cardinals over dinner telling them he hopes God forgives them for having chosen him.
“When the Secretary of State toasted to him, he toasted back to us and said ‘I hope God forgives you,’” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan recalled at the Pontifical North American College last night.
“He has already won our hearts, and we had a very fraternal meal at the Domus Santa Marta where we have been staying,” said the cardinal during a March 13 press conference at 11:00 p.m.
“Pope Francis also told us last night, “I’m going to sleep well and something tells me you will, too. And we will, knowing that the Church is in good hands,” said the New York cardinal, who described last night’s decision as bringing a “sense of release and of serenity.”
The Argentinian Pope, former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, used only public transportation, unlike many cardinals, to move around the city of Buenos Aires where he was living until now.
Cardinal Dolan told how Pope Francis used the last of the cardinals’ minibuses to return to the St. Martha house, instead of using the papal car with the license plate “Stato Vaticano 1.”
And last night he didn’t go up on the platform to sit on the papal chair, but instead stayed down and greeted each cardinal.
“It’s clear he already takes very seriously his role as the Bishop of Rome, since Pope Francis said he would venerate Our Lady, Help of the Roman People today,” said Cardinal Dolan.
“It was a very beautiful, inspirational and moving evening and it’s something I’ll never forget,” he added.
After Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re announced the Pope’s name to the cardinals last night, Pope Francis accepted. The Jesuit Pope told the cardinals he chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, not in honor of the Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier.
Cardinal Battista Re then read the Bible passage where Jesus chooses Saint Peter and says ‘to you I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you untie on earth will be untied in heaven.’
The cardinals sang the Te Deum and the new Pope spent a few minutes in adoration, a new tradition which has begun with him.
Cardinal Dolan told journalists that elderly cardinals had said to him, “once you get in there you will feel the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit and you’ll feel God’s grace very much at work.”
“Not that there was thunder, but you feel a very beautiful sense of resignation and direction as you see things unfolding,” said the cardinal.
He noted that “although you could see God’s hands at work, that didn’t absolve us from our responsibility.”
Cardinal Dolan also described seeing the relationship with a fellow cardinal suddenly change because of his new identity as “an astounding moment.”
“All of a sudden his clothes are different, his name is different and our relationship with him is different.”
He said that the morning of the Pope’s election, he was hugging the Argentinian cardinal.
“As sincere, as simple and as humble as he so radiantly is, his identity is new, and that I found extraordinarily moving,” he said.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks at the North American College on March 13, 2013. Credit: Alan Holdren/EWTN News.
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