It’s been fascinating to watch the news and read posts on social media sites the last number of weeks. It’s amazing how much attention and interest the Catholic Church generates, even among non-Catholics. One of the things I love about the Catholic Church (of lesser importance, I realize) is that we are really, really interesting. There’s never a dull day for a Catholic!
If you’re interested in conclave news, the daily schedule was released today, which you can check out: http://www.osvdailytake.com/2013/03/follow-papal-conclave-detailed-schedule.html. (Keep in mind this is Rome time!). On today’s docket is the 90 personnel (doctors, nurses, sacristans, bus drivers, cooks, cleaning staff, the commander of the Swiss Guard and the Chief of Vatican police) taking an oath of secrecy in the Pauline Chapel in the Apostolic Palace. The first possible “smoke sighting” will be at 3 PM our time on Tuesday.
And, because the new pope might be named while you are sleeping or otherwise occupied, some inventive students have set up the Pope Alarm, which will send you either (or both) a text message or email to let you know we have a new Holy Father: www.popealarm.com.
Father Brad needs this — he’s on retreat this week in a hermitage somewhere in the outer reaches of Minnesota. He’s been taking a lot of teasing about being on retreat during the conclave — we predict he’ll be checking his cell phone when he ought to be praying.
In all seriousness, please continue to pray for the cardinals. They have a tremendous responsibility, and need our prayers. May the Holy Spirit be with them!