With today’s inauguration Mass for Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ took the spotlight in Catholic New Media and Main Stream Media, exciting the faithful in a new way. Every Pope has a unique charism to share his gifts in helping guide the Roman Catholic Church, and Pope Francis is clearly being guided by the Holy Spirit to give the church needed medicine with Franciscan Spirituality. I was moved that all the cardinals in today’s Mass had the Tau Cross on their chasubles to honor Pope Francis’ choice of his papal name, based on St. Francis of Assisi.
What is Franciscan Spirituality? I am currently a candidate to become a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, and we follow The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. The SFO Rule has 26 rules developed by St. Francis of Assisi and last revised by Pope Paul VI (1978). There is one rule that really explains Franciscan Spirituality:
Rule #4: The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people. Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly. Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to gospel.
Pope Francis also has shown many of the traits of which Saint Francis was well known: deep spirituality and faith, caring for the poor and disabled, care for creation, a spirit of joy and humor, and energy and mission to rebuild the church. I have added more links at the bottom of this blog about Franciscan Spirituality. I was so excited to see so much well produced media this week showing off the Pope in a positive light.
Catholic Vote produced a beautiful video showing the excitement of the Conclave of Cardinals and announcement of Pope Francis:
Father Roderick Vonhogen of SQPN.com (Catholic Insider) gave incredible coverage with podcasts and videos from St. Peter’s Square and talking with fellow Catholics in the crowd. Following is a video from Pope Francis’ first Angelus:
Dominican Sisters showed their excitement at the announcement in this well made video:
If hands could talk, this CNS video produced a lot of traffic showing congratulations from fellow cardinals after the Conclave:
Fr. Robert Barron gave great coverage and commentary to NBC and Word On Fire with his wonderful knowledge of the Catholic Faith:
The Guardian offered a 360 degree interactive photo of St. Peter’s Square at the time of the announcement of Pope Francis.
Some of the most traffic produced was from a moving moment this morning when Pope Benedict got out of the Popemobile to bless a disabled man:
I also saw a lot of traffic related to the photo and blog story about Pope Francis being first Pope to bless a dog, reminding us of St. Francis’ love of animals and his story of the wolf of Gubbio:
There was also a lot of traffic related to a video from Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk who talks about how Pope Francis will be ecumenical:
The Religion Teacher Blog released a great lesson plan for the new papacy of Pope Francis
Catholic Social Media Explodes
It was an amazing week to follow The Conclave all the way to the Inaugural Mass. I currently follow about 700 sources of media through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and many websites sharing these with our members at Catholic Web Services. This conclave will go down in history as the first papal election that was covered by these new forms of social media. During Pope Benedict XVI’s election these forms of media were emerging or did not exist. Catholics were able to share many personal photos and videos of the event that were shared globally–really showing off the reach and diversity of The Universal Church. Thanks to so many friends who shared their stories and thoughts about Pope Francis this week. The comparison photo below really shows the difference in social media’s rise in the past 8 years.
I am glad to see that Pope Francis is continuing to use the @Pontifex Twitter account started by Pope Benedict XVI. In just a few tweets he has surpassed 2 million followers (more than B16), and hoping that this is a sign of renewal in the church. Both Pope JPII and B16 had written about embracing these new forms of media for evangelization, and catechesis, and I am hopeful that Pope Francis will be continuing and encouraging using Catholic New Media in service to the church.
Three Tweets from Pope Francis to Date:
- Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me. Pope Francis.
- Let us keep a place for Christ in our lives, let us care for one another and let us be loving custodians of creation.
- True power is service. The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.
Prayer of St. Francis sung by Sarah McLachlen
God Bless Pope Francis, and we are praying that he has a fruitful and faithful pontificate, and we at Catholic Web Services join him in wanting to rebuild the church. Pope Francis should be inspired by the words of St. Francis in his challenge ahead– “Start by doing by what’s necessary; then do by what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Pax Et Bonum (Peace and All Good–a famous saying by St. Francis)
Secular Franciscan Order – Mount LaVerna Fraternity – peaceandallgood.org