Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

Homily on the Election of Pope Francis | March 20, 2013

From The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop | Issued March 28, 2013

The following is an excerpt of Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s homily at the Mass to Celebrate the Election of Pope Francis on the evening of Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. The entire homily can be heard at the audio link.

“We’re here so that in the name of all the people of the Archdiocese of Detroit we can thank God that he has answered our prayers. We’re here so that we might intercede for the pope, and ask God to give him the strength that he needs in order to fulfill the ministry He has given him.

“…From the beginning of the pope’s presentation to us on the loggia, the balcony in front of St. Peter’s Square, we have seen that he has many gifts of grace, gifts that he has accepted from God and, by accepting them, has placed at our service.

“Not least among the Holy Father’s gifts he brings to his service of us is a Christian heart and soul, formed as a son of the Church in Latin America – the Church in Argentina. He brings to our services, to his ministry as the successor of Peter, that he has been formed a priest in the Society of Jesus. He brings these gifts to the office that is so clearly in its essential points outlined for us in the Gospel tonight, as Jesus, according to St. John, commands Peter to feed his lambs and feed his sheep. This is the office of Peter. This is the ministry to which Pope Francis brings his gifts of heart and soul – to feed us and to love Jesus in order the better to feed us.

“He feeds us by the word of God, by protecting the integrity of the Gospel message. In my communion with him, the communion of all the bishops of the world, Catholics throughout the world can be assured that what they’re taught, what is preached to them, is true nourishment. Not empty calories. Not poison. But true nourishment for the soul – the word of Christ. And he feeds us by the sacraments, assuring us by our communion with him as the Vicar of Peter, assuring us that the Eucharist as we celebrate it here in this cathedral and in all the parish churches of this diocese, is not counterfeit, but is authentic Eucharist – the same Eucharist as Jesus celebrated with Peter and the other apostles in the upper room. That our celebration of the sacrament of penance is a ritual that finds its force, its power, from nothing else than that spirit that Jesus breathed out upon Peter and the other Apostles in the upper room when he appeared to them on the first Easter Sunday night.”