By BRIAN SMITH
Catholics locally and around the world are celebrating last week’s election of a new Pope.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, chose Francis as his papal name. He will be the first to have the name and is also the first Jesuit to hold the honor. According to CNN.com, the name Francis symbolizes “poverty, humility, simplicity and the rebuilding of the Catholic Church.”
In the eyes of Aledo’s Holy Redeemer Catholic Church Monsignor Publius Xuereb, it’s those name-related attributes that will make him a great leader for the church.
“In the first five minutes after he was introduced to the public, he had stolen the hearts of the 1.2 billion Catholics he will be shepherding,” Xuereb said. “What I liked most is the fact he had asked those in St. Peter’s Square to pray for him, which in my memory had never been done. It showed a definite sign of humility and personification.”
When asked to pray, many of the crowd, estimated at 250,000, knelt down on the wet ground and did so.
“There was complete silence because of the shock of what he had just asked, and then the faithful did so,” Xuereb said.
The new pontiff will be expected to lead the church out of one of its most tumultuous times in history. Sexual abuse scandals in the U.S. and many people leaving the church because of what are considered “old-fashioned” ways have created challenges within the church. Xuereb says it’s not the pontiff’s job to make change, however.
“His job is to strengthen the faith of his flock and to strengthen himself,” Xuereb said. “This man makes you proud to be a Catholic after much of the harrassment that has been going on by the social media and mainstream media over the past few years. He is going to have to try to bring everyone together.”
With Easter considered a time of rebirth by Christians, the election of a new pope two weeks before Easter is perfect timing for the Catholic Church to be turned around, Xuereb said.
Many local parishioners feel the new pontiff, who is 76 years old, has a long road to hoe but feel confident he can do it.
“I like the way he seems very soft-spoken but appears ready to let his actions do his talking for him,” Jane Tomlinson, who attends St. Stephen’s in Weatherford, said. “I think it was a tremendous choice.”
Mark Pulkrabek, a Holy Redeemer parishioner, said he will need to wait a while before having any final say.
“I was under the impression that when John Paul II died, Benedict would be kind of like a fill-in until they could groom someone for the position, so to speak,” Pulkrabek said. “I was expecting someone younger, but they didn’t ask for my opinion.”
By BRIAN SMITH
- Aledo ExtrA
Ride for Heroes a success
Nearly 1,200 cyclists flooded the roads around East Parker County during Saturday’s 12th annual Moritz Ride for Heroes.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 7 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 7 Aledo ISD trustee race, Hoyt Harris, James Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 6 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 6 Aledo ISD trustee race, incumbent David Davis and challenger Farida Goderya.
Callaway gets A+
Anita Callaway, an English teacher at Daniel Ninth Grade Center, was named “Teacher of the Year” during the 2014 Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony held April 15 in the Aledo High School auditorium.
Man dies in Farmer Road crash
A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. April 15 in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.
Fire victims' fund established
Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to the Hancock family, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community.
Delay adds $56,000 to Aledo Trail project
The long delay in the Aledo Trail downtown couplet, now due to finish in summer instead of spring, will add about $56,000 to the cost of the project, Parker County commissioners learned last week, when they approved a change order upping the contract to around $3.3 million.
Parker County Sheriff's Report March 31-April 11
Theft of property
A deputy was dispatched to 8600 Interstate 20 East, Aledo, in reference to a theft investigation. The 57-year-old male complainant said an unknown suspect stole $1,000 of copper wire from the Sprint tower on the site. A case was made for the theft of property: aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
Bearcats ‘N Boots Gala: dinner, auction and entertainment
• 6:30 p.m. at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth.
• Catered by The Wild Mushroom; entertainment by Four Day Weekend.
• Tickets cost $100.
• Benefitting the Aledo ISD Education Foundation
• Title sponsor Buford-Thompson Company.
• For more information, go to aledoef.org.
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