Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis began his papacy on March 13 2013. He quickly became recognised as a champion for the poor and leading by example.
Pope Francis traded in the traditional papal finery for a simple white robe and plain black dress shoes. As well as this he has refused to live in the papal palace and instead opted to live in a nearby Vatican guest house for lay people. Truly living up to his believes that the church should be for the poor.
For the last year, Pope Francis has not forgotten the poor. Indeed, care for the poor and marginalized has been the most constant focus of the papacy so far; even as he has begun the task of reforming the Catholic Church.
In 365 days, the Pope has effected a major change in spirit, focus and structure of the Catholic Church which will serve to pave a crucial foundation for the future legacy of his papacy.
We in the North Wales office remember well the day that the new Pope was announced. Julia and Fidel from our Connect 2 community Puentecito in El Salvador (http://www.cafod.org.uk/About-Us/Where-we-work/Latin-America-Caribbean/El-Salvador) were visiting North Wales for 2 days, including the parish of Ruabon and St. David’s Primary School in Mold. They were accompanied by Clare Dixon, Head of CAFOD’s South America Department.
At the end of the Stations of the Cross, phones started to beep and excited faces looked around. Finally Clare stood up and announced: “I am proud to say that we have a new Pope”.
It took us a moment to understand what was happening, I remember Anne, our Officer, pointing at the phone and trying to communicate the news, suddenly saying “El Papa” and pointing to a picture of Pope Francis.
A year has passed and so much change has come about, never before has the press taken so much interest in the papacy before. We hope that Pope Francis will continue his good work and we wish and pray for a long and successful papacy.