Pope Francis with more class

More class from Pope Francis.

From L’Osservatore Romano:

The Pope’s Mass
with Vatican gardeners and cleaners

When we have a heart of stone it happens that we pick up real stones and stone Jesus Christ in the person of our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest of them. Pope Francis said this, commenting on the day’s Readings during the Mass he celebrated on Friday morning in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
It was a simple celebration to which the Pope invited employees of the garden and cleaning services of the Governorate of Vatican City State. He gave them a brief homily, focused in particular on the Gospel passage of John which recounts the episode of the Jews who wanted to stone Jesus.
Concelebrating were [...]

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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31 Responses to Pope Francis with more class

  1. Ed the Roman says:

    There’s a saying that if you want to know a man’s character, see how he treats his waiter. I like His Holiness more and more.

  2. Canon Hudson says:

    Dear Father,

    I would be interested in knowing what you define by ‘class’?

  3. Canon Hudson says:

    sorry I meant ‘as’ class.

  4. A comment and a question:

    The comment: A friend who was close to Bishop David O’Connell (now of Trenton, NJ) when he was President of Catholic U. said he was the kind of guy who knew every security guard and custodian on the campus by name.

    The question: I was looking at the pictures from this Mass, and noticed an abundance of flowers in the D.S.M. chapel. I hate to be a liturgy Nazi, but aren’t we still in Lent? I am reminded of the iconic photo of Bl. John Paul II clinging to a crucifix in his private chapel on Good Friday, 2005. There’s too, flowers were clearly visible. Do chapels have different rules than churches?

  5. The Sicilian Woman says:

    It is lovely to hear that the Pope invited them to that Mass, and I hope he continues to do so.

    Service workers, including custodians, gardeners, hotel housekeeping, and so on, are usually treated very poorly, often ignored. In many cases, at least from what I have witnessed (especially at my employer), they have the worst wages and difficult working conditions, and they are usually looked down upon. I always greet and be friendly with people in such positions as I do with others (hopefully it makes up a little for my many other faults and failings), so I appreciate Pope Francis’ actions.

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    March 22nd is traditionally the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer (San Isidro). So yeah, there’s a tie-in with gardeners and with flowers. Probably more of an attribute/get blessings on stuff thing, rather than a decorative thing.

  7. scholastica says:

    Perhaps we are seeing what Francis means by a poor church, reaching out to the the lowly and imprisoned-already in his first week as Pope.

  8. Lot says:

    Father George at Holy Souls hermitage really explains Pope Francis better than I ever could. I wish everyone would read what he says.

  9. moosix1974 says:

    Suburbanbanshee, I was thinking the same thing. The flowers were really small and seemed to be a “token” piece for blessing. It was in a pot and I’m willing to guess it will be planted in the Vatican gardens.

  10. moosix1974 says:

    And I know it’s Lent and not appropriate for the season, but I don’t understand the no flowers on the altar thing. At the EF Masses I attend, there are always flowers on the altar.

  11. RidersOnTheStorm says:

    Another wonderful expression of the humility of Pope Francis: photo where he sits at the back of the chapel either before or after he says Mass for staff at Santa Marta, praying as one of the faithful.

    http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1565884-el-papa-oficio-una-misa-con-jardineros-y-recolectores-de-basura

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    If the Vatican is like most of the places I’ve worked, these are apt to be the nicest people in the building, and they know where everything in the place is and how to work it.

  13. Stumbler but trying says:

    I saw all those pics earlier today of Papa Francis sitting in the back of the Church and well, what a wonderful surprise it must have been for the faithful gathered there. I read that blessed JPII used to invite folks too when he celebrated daily Mass in the early morn.
    The flowers look odd but I am wondering if perhaps they were a gift rather than placed on the altar? I mean, gee, he did celebrate Mass with the gardeners.
    What a gift and a blessing…the workers, who toil God’s green earth have Mass celebrated by the Vicar of Christ. My father (God rest his soul) was a gardener/landscaper and I know he would have been so honored and humbled to have been in the presence of the Holy Father.
    I have been in joy and wonder at all that has happened since his election but I can’t help but feel a little sad that perhaps, soon, his activities will have be curtailed. I think his safety is important as someone might get the idea to take advantage to do him harm. How that all plays out only time will tell.
    In the meantime, I am pray for him as he continues to ask us to do and also for the Church. I miss Papa Benedict but remain grateful he is still among us, hidden in prayer. I am so happy they will meet tomorrow Saturday afternoon, for lunch, in what I hope will be a grace filled time in prayer and wonderful conversation. God bless them both and thank you Jesus for such a wonderful gift to the Church and the world!

  14. RobertK says:

    scholastica says:
    22 March 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Perhaps we are seeing what Francis means by a poor church, reaching out to the the lowly and imprisoned-already in his first week as Pope.

    True. I also believe this is how Pope Francis is setting an example. So even though we are traditionalists, we should also follow his example, by reaching out to the lowly, and poor. But we also need keep the “reform of the reform” moving ahead. We can do both!. Follow the simplicity of Pope Francis, but also introduce the poor and lowly to the beauty of Catholic tradition.

  15. mightyduk says:

    I think it’s wonderful for Pope Francis to reach out to these folks, I’m sorry though, I don’t see it as a “wonderful sign of humility”, the pope knows well that he’s bringing focus to himself and his actions. That is not an act of humility (virtuous though it may be) in my opinion.

  16. capchoirgirl says:

    mightduk: Everything the pope does receives media attention, especially in this day and age. I think it’s just a given that whatever he does will be covered by some media outlet. To blame this on the Pope and say he’s bringing focus to himself is a bit skewed.

  17. mamajen says:

    @Lot

    I agree–I’ve really been enjoying Father George’s posts. I love that he managed to find a picture of Pope Francis as a cardinal wearing a fiddle back vestment!

  18. boxerpaws1952 says:

    ” the pope knows well that he’s bringing focus to himself and his actions. ” good :)

  19. boxerpaws1952 says:

    ps sounds like a plan to me

  20. BLB Oregon says:

    Speaking of class and humility, does anyone think there is the slightest chance that Pope Francis’ beloved predecessor Benedict will ever look for a second of limelight or would ever dream of undermining the current Pope in any way whatsoever? He was Supreme Pontiff, and he let go of it and put the Church in the hands of God, with no clear predecessor lined up ahead of time.

    Can we all say “wow”?

  21. BLB Oregon says:

    “….with no clear predecessor lined up ….” I did it again! Of course I meant successor!

  22. Anchorite says:

    Mightyduk & Boxerpaws1952,
    A pretty fail-proof plan it may well be: media will always embrace the Church of the media, because it caters to media. It speaks its language and acts in understandings acts.
    But, there is nothing wrong in those acts per se. …

  23. Pingback: A Look at Some of Pope Francis’ Prior Views - Big Pulpit

  24. Katylamb says:

    I’m wondering how much any of us can do as far as our religion that won’t be seen by some as “showing off” or “trying to bring attention to yourself?” If we pray before a meal in public or as women wear a hat to church or genuflect before the tabernacle or speak kindly to a waitress when everyone else at the table ignores her- there’s bound to be some person who will question our motives. I think part of humility is having that knowledge, that people will think or say you are showing off, and just going ahead and doing what you feel is right anyway. I feel a deep sadness for the pope, that some of his own people are trying to humiliate him. I’m sure he’s very much aware of people saying these things about him, but he wants to please God anyway. Should he not have a Mass for his gardeners for fear someone will say he’s showing off? To question actions like not dressing the part of pope is one thing, but to accuse him of doing his good works only to be seen and praised by men is revolting. There are many commenters on here who know a lot more than I do about the Church, and I enjoy very much reading their comments. I wonder how they would feel though, if I or someone else started questioning their every post and accusing them of “showing off your knowledge” or ” making a big show of your holiness?” It would not be pleasant, would it?

  25. I saw the photo on Facebook. Great example once again.

  26. De Tribulis says:

    BLB Oregon said: Speaking of class and humility, does anyone think there is the slightest chance that Pope Francis’ beloved predecessor Benedict will ever look for a second of limelight or would ever dream of undermining the current Pope in any way whatsoever? He was Supreme Pontiff, and he let go of it and put the Church in the hands of God, with no clear successor lined up ahead of time.

    Can we all say “wow”?

    Yes, indeed! I watched Pope Benedict’s address to the cardinals and when he pledged his loyalty and obedience to the man, already present in that room, who would emerge from the Conclave as the new Pope, it sent a shiver down my spine. Unconditional obedience to the office, no matter who the holder would be. There are a number of lessons in that gesture for all of us, I think.

  27. JimGB says:

    I agree that it shows class to personally call to cancel the newspaper subscription and to celebrate Mass with Vatican staff, who are essentially his employees. But the extent to which this “Pope-as-Everyman” approach may not resonate in the long term was brought into focus for me when I showed the photo of Francis sitting in the last row of the chapel to a friend, who while Catholic is not one who pays close attention to things like mozzettas, red shoes and Roman chasubles. His reaction was unenthusiastic.He said Francis is the Pope and should act more as popes have traditionally acted and wear the clothing that is symbolic of, and appropriate to, the office for which he was chosen. He had no issue with the Pope celebrating Mass with the staff but objected to his sitting down in the back row of the chapel, behind the congregation. He thought this was not consistent with the office the Pope. To me, his reaction means that lots of people are paying attention to Francis and not all are enthused by all of his choices in conduct and in dress. As Father Z has said, these symbols have a meaning that extends back hundreds of years. Every Pope has adopted them because they are important to the office of which he is only the temporary occupant and their being abandoned so quickly because of Francis’s personal tastes is disquieting. I am also somewhat puzzled as to why changes aimed at “simplifying” things can be accomplished in a fortnight but changes to restore traditions take YEARS and occur in baby steps. Case in point: the fanon. Pope Benedict reportedly wanted to restore it for his own inaugural Mass in 2005 but was dissuaded by Piero Marini, only to restore it almost 8 years later in what proved to be the final public Masses of his pontificate.

  28. nanetteclaret says:

    JimGB -

    I agree with everything you have said. It would seem to me that he would honor his gardeners and cleaners more by actually acting like the Pope. How is it special for them when the Pope just sits in the back and acts like he is one of them? The reality is that, due to his office, he is not “just one of the guys,” and to act in a way inconsistent with his office would seem to me to be actually demeaning to them. They don’t deserve to have the Pope act like the Pope in their presence?

    There is a big difference in knowing the names of the gardeners and cleaners and relating to them one-on-one vs. celebrating Mass for them as Pope. I think him sitting in the pews with them to be very condescending, and not humble at all. Anyone who is in a position of authority has to act in a way consistent with his/her position. It is the same whether one is a parent, military officer, teacher, or Pope. A person in authority is not “one of the guys” or “friends” or “equals.” The reality is that the position demands different behavior and if one does not conform to those demands, chaos ensues. Witness the Mom who tries to be “friends” with her 13-year old daughter, and then she wonders why the daughter disregards everything she says. Or the boss who tries to be “one of the guys” with his staff and wonders why they don’t respect him. The current trend of everyone being “equal” is causing chaos in our world, because no one will actually do the hard work of leading. The reality is that we are not all equal. We are actually all different! The Supreme Pontiff must lead, and part of his duty is to his office.

  29. mightyduk says:

    capchoirgirl says:
    Everything the pope does receives media attention, especially in this day and age. I think it’s just a given that whatever he does will be covered by some media outlet. To blame this on the Pope and say he’s bringing focus to himself is a bit skewed.

    Blame? where in my post is there any blame on the pope? I didn’t criticize the pope in the slightest in my post, reread it. I merely disagreed with those who make this some giant act of supreme humility. I certainly find it virtuous (as I stated), just not as an act of humility.

  30. Eraser says:

    I think it’s wonderful. The more I see of our Holy Father, the more impressed I am.

    By the way, this chapel was built by Louis Astorino, an architect from my hometown (Pittsburgh), who shares my name. It’s not open to the public & you rarely see photos, so I’m glad Father posted it!

  31. MAJ Tony says:

    If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – incipit Phil 2 (NAB)