JP in Rome: At Pope Francis’ Installation


Ciao di Vaticano! Folks, at the moment we’re seated on top of Bernini’s Colonnade inside the Vatican. That places the papal altar just a few hundred feet below us. From this vantage point, we’ve got a great shot of the crowds, now flooding into St. Peter’s Square; the interior of the Vatican, wherein cardinals and bishops are milling about in advance of the Mass; and, the rooftops of Rome, which are serving as impromptu studios for much of the world’s media.

We’re nearing the beginning of the Mass. It commences around 9:30 Rome time. The morning promises to be bright and warm. Here above the colonnade, hundreds of journalists and photographers are scoping out spots from which to capture images that will soon be broadcast and transmitted around the globe. I thought I’d give a little sneak peek behind the scenes, as it were. Check out these pictures:




Now, a little preview of this morning’s Mass. The first reading is going to be taken from 2 Samuel 7, 4-5. 12-14, 16. Our Responsorial Psalm is #88, “His dynasty shall last forever.” St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (4, 13. 16-18. 22) will serve as the second reading. The Gospel, Matthew 1, 16. 18-21.24a, will be intoned in Greek. The general intercessions will be read in multiple languages, including Arabic and Chinese. An interesting side note: Traditional Chinese – as opposed to simplified Chinese – appears in the Mass book. China’s Communist regime introduced simplified Chinese during the cultural revolution. It would seem this Pope will none of that! The Roman Canon is going to be used at the Mass. And, the Salve Regina will be intoned at the end of the Mass.

More to come!

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About Author

John Paul Shimek is a 2003 honors graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire--one of the oldest Benedictine colleges in North America. He holds ecclesiastical degrees from the graduate schools of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Those degrees were awarded to him in the names of Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinals Theodore McCarrick and Donald Wuerl. His academic specializations include the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Second Vatican Council, and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. John Paul has provided special counsel to numerous Church leaders, including both the former and current archbishops of Milwaukee, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Jerome Listecki. Most recently, he served as a technical theological assistant to Archbishop Listecki during the preparation of a pastoral letter for the Year of Faith. He has been interviewed and he has written on a wide spectrum of religious and public forum issues for numerous media outlets, including CNN, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Telemundo, Zenit, the Catholic News Agency, the National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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