St. Anne's Pastor Says New Pope is a Man of Incredible Experience
Fr. Richard Villanova pointed to the many facets of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's work that will enrich the church as he becomes the 266th pope.
The white smoke billowed and the new pope has been named: Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio will be the 266th pope and has selected the name Pope Francis I. He is the first non-European pope in the modern era and the first South American pope.
At St. Anne's Church in Garwood, Pastor Richard Villanova was pleased with the choice.
"We’re happy the Lord heard our prayers and gave us a pope in good time," Fr. Villanova told Patch. "Cardinal Bergoglio comes from experience in life that's going to enrich the church. He comes from a country that’s so Catholic, he’s a religious and he’s a very trained Jesuit priest. He brings his experience as a professor, his experience as the leader of an enormous archdiocese, and his experience with working with the church at large in Rome."
Fr. Villanova also appreciates the new Pope's work with the poor.
"His experience working in Argentina and Buenos Aires is significant because there is so much poverty there," he said. "And his training as a Jesuit required him to work with young people and also the poorest of the poor."
Fr. Villanova said he was also intrigued by the new Pope's choice of the name "Francis."
"We don't know whether he picked Francis as in Francis of Assisi or the great Jesuit minister Francis Xavier, who converted most of China, Japan, India and Samoa in the 15th century, and who also wrote to pope begging for reform," he said. "But both were leaders who took care of the poorest of the poor and took on the mission of building the church."
On Pope Francis I's most important duties, Fr. Villanova said he hopes that he will "make the church bring the Gospel at home to everyone, because not everyone is at home with the words of Jesus."