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Welcoming Pope Francis

It is a graced and exciting moment for the Church. I believe Pope Francis is a man of humility with a strong love for all people – particularly for the poor.

Pope Francis is a Jesuit, a Latin American and, most important, a man of the people. I think this week (last week) has truly shown us that the selection of a new pope is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The cardinals were indeed united in their efforts to find a new Holy Father, a man to shepherd the Church as we look to the future.

Here, also, is a man of deep prayer, as we all witnessed when he stood on the balcony for the first time and asked everyone to join him in prayer. I am especially pleased with his desire as Bishop of Rome to continue the focus on evangelization. If evangelization begins in Rome, how quickly it could spread throughout the world!

May our prayers be joined today and in the coming days for our Holy Father Pope Francis. Let us celebrate joyfully with all people of good will united in faith, hope and love!

God bless, Pope Francis.

John F. Kinney, Bishop of Saint Cloud