Last March, the election of Pope Francis was announced with a billow of white smoke. Nine months later, the media remain in a papal haze. Time Magazine named Pope Francis its person of the year. Francis also topped Esquire's list of 2013's best-dressed men, and Buzzfeed jumped on the papal bandwagon with its list of "The 19 Best Pope Francis Moments of 2013".
Pope Benedict the 16th stunned the Catholic world in February by announcing his retirement: the first papal resignation in 700 years. And since the election of Pope Francis in March, the surprises have only continued: he’s the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit, the first pope from the southern hemisphere.
The Diocese of Manchester will hold a special mass at 6 this evening to celebrate the election of a new pope.
Bishop Peter Libasci will lead the mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Manchester.
Diocese Spokesman Kevin Donovan says the announcement of a new pope comes very early, compared to previous elections.
“The earliest that a pope has been elected in 100s of years was on the first day, and this is the second day, so still fairly early, which means there was consensus early on among the electors, the cardinals, electing the pope.”
Catholic cardinals from around the world are meeting now, as the process of choosing a new leader gets underway at a time of tremendous upheaval for their church. We’ll find out what religious leaders and others in the Granite state are saying about this and what they think it means for the future.
This week is Catholic Schools Week. For students in New Hampshire Catholic schools, that means some unusual classroom activities, from food drives to snowman making festivals.
For faculty, though, it’s a chance to reflect on the state of the school district – and some of the challenges it faces, from enrollment issues to school safety to teaching Catholic positions on social issues that may no longer be held by the majority of Americans.
We sit down with Bishop Peter Libasci, nearly one year after he took over as head of the Diocese of Manchester. We’ll talk with Bishop Libasci about what he hopes to achieve as leader of more than a quarter million New Hampshire Catholics.