| Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, leaves after praying at the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome on Thursday. (Reuters) |
The Jesuit institutions in the city are delighted over the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papal office. To be known as Pope Francis, he is the first Jesuit and a Latin American to become the Pope.
The heads of the four Jesuit educational institutions in Patna — St Michael’s High School, St Xavier’s High School, St Xavier’s College of Education and St Xavier’s College and St Xavier’s College of Management and Technology — expressed their happiness over his election. So did Patna Archbishop William D’ Souza.
The Archbishop said: “The whole Church has welcomed him and we are happy over his election. Our prayers are with him for guiding the Church. His simplicity, his commitment to the poor and downtrodden, his spiritual depth and his eagerness for the renewal of the Church give us hope. Francis — the name he has taken — stands for being down to earth and friendly with people and nature.”
Father Thomas Perumalil, the principal of St Xavier’s College of Education, said: “Jesuits are capable of meeting the challenges. I am sure that the present Pope will meet the expectations of the people of other countries. Jesuits are known for reaching out to people and places where others are reluctant to go. So, Pope Francis will lead the Church in the right direction.”
Father George Nedumattam, the principal of St Xavier’s High School, said: “It is the time of blessing for the Catholic Church and the election of Pope Francis is a sign of the Church’s willingness and readiness to respond to the needs and challenges of time.”
The Pope would bring with him the rich heritage, tradition and history of Latin America, he added.
Father T. Nishaant, the principal of St Xavier’s College and St Xavier’s College of Management and Technology, said: “We are truly honoured because for the first time in the over 450-year history of the Society of Jesus a Jesuit has been elected Pope. We have been in the forefront in serving the Church and its people for years. The new Pope is known for his simplicity and his love for the poor. He is also a person who is capable of balancing conservatism with modernity. Therefore, I hope he will be able to lead the Church in these turbulent times.”