14.3.13

catholic to the core // papal elections

Yesterday, history was made. Yesterday was the election of Pope Francis. This is historic for a lot of reasons.

He's the first pope from the Americas.

photo credit
He's the first pope named Francis. It shows that he wants to make change. Oh, and he's a Jesuit. Jesuits are pretty awesome.

This is the second papal election I've witnessed in my life. I saw his and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

I remember the election of Benedict pretty well. And I obviously remember yesterday's election as well. Today, I'm going to share both.


Fifth grade. Sitting in the chair at the dentist's office. They were finishing up with me when the TV in the patient room broke from the View to breaking news. Then there was the white smoke in the sky. My mom had told me about how the Cardinals would elect a new Pope and send up white smoke. Having never seen it, I was having a little freak out in the dentist's chair.

Of course, my hygienist wasn't Catholic, and had a really hard time calming down. After they finished cleaning my teeth, my mom and I stalled as long as we could to wait for the new Pope to come out.

Because my mom wanted me to see the new Pope, instead of taking my brother and I back to school, she took us to Cici's to have lunch before we went back to class.

I can still picture sitting there, watching the TV as Benedict came out. It was exciting, but a group of Baptist School kids came in and were all loud and noisy, and that kind of killed the mood.

But not completely. I remember being there, telling myself this was something I needed to remember, to store in my memory, because it would be a story to tell.  

Flash forward eight years later. Yesterday. March 13th. I was at my grandmother's house, and the TV was turned to Fox News. I'd been doing some work on my laptop all day, and every ten minutes, it was "we're just moments away from expecting smoke to come out."

This went on for three or four hours. I left the room for fifteen minutes to go find a phone charger, and all of the sudden, my mom yelled from the kitchen that there was white smoke.

I'd missed it!

Naturally, I ran back to the kitchen, where we had fifteen (ish) people huddled in the kitchen, watching the smoke come out.

We all talked about memories of seeing past Popes being elected, and my mom, grandmother, brothers, sister, cousins and myself all moved to the family room where there was a larger TV and more seats.

The waiting continued as I eagerly texted some of my closest friends (most of them aren't even Catholic). We all got excited when the camera panned onto the balcony and we saw people hiding behind the windows.

The Cardinal came out and announced Pope Francis. My church at home is St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, so Francis is kind of a close church name to my family.

Then Pope Francis came out. The picture at the top is him when he first came out. I love it because he's so overwhelmed and it's kind of cute and adorable in a little kid way. He's in shock, and when he asked people to pray for him, it was obvious that he wasn't going to be like any other Pope we've seen in a long time.

I'm excited to see what Pope Francis will do to our wonderful church. And I pray for him, because he's got one of the toughest jobs in the world.

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