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Mississippi Catholics are Praying and Celebrating the New Pope

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 14 Mar 2013 06:23pm | comments
Saint Peter's Catholic Cathedral in downtown Jackson, Thursday, March 14, 2013

Members of the Mississippi Catholic Diocese are offering special prayers for Pope Francis, the newest leader of the Roman Catholic Church. MPB's Lawayne Childrey attended a mass in Jackson yesterday that honored of the church's 266th pontiff.  

Prayers were uttered in Saint Peter's Catholic Cathedral in downtown Jackson, where members of the church asked God’s blessings upon newly elected Pope Francis. After the service Monsignor Elvin Sunds, of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson compared the new Pontiff to the patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. 

"St. Frances was one of the leaders that brought together Jewish, Christian and Islamic leaders of his time. And I would hope that there would be some effort to bring some reconciliation and deeper understanding between people of all faiths."

Pope Francis is the first leader of the church to come from the Americas, home to nearly half the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Elsa Baughman, Spanish Editor of the Mississippi Catholic Newspaper says she is praying that the Popes humble Argentinean lifestyle will help usher in a a new age of character and simplicity in the church.

"He's very familiar with a country that has gone through a lot of changes and it's a country where there is a lot of poverty. So he himself has lived a life of those who sometimes are not looked after."

In recent years morale among the faithful has been hit hard by widespread child sex abuse scandals and in fighting in church government. Bill Farrior. a lifelong Catholic from Utica says he's praying Pope Francis can help revive the troubled church.

"It would be such a blessing for the whole world. The way the people are getting away from God you know it's gone be a challenge for him to get us back." 

An estimated 120 thousand Catholics makeup the two Dioceses of Mississippi.   Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.





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