Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States, is celebrating the selection of the Church's first ever Jesuit Pope, Pope Francis. Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., of Buenos Aires, was selected by the conclave of cardinals Wednesday in Rome.
"In the election of Francis, the cardinals for the first time have given the Church a pope steeped in the Jesuit tradition and with Latin American roots. With this background, Francis will bring a different style or way of proceeding to the office," Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., Georgetown’s vice president of mission and ministry, told Patch in an email.
Pope Francis was selected Wednesday following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 28.
Georgetown University was founded in 1789 when John Carroll secured a deed for 60 acres of land in what is now Georgetown. Carroll because a Jesuit in 1769 and was made Archbishop of Baltimore in 1808.
"Our work at Georgetown is informed by the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. This very same tradition played an essential role in the formation of our new Pope, and we have seen it expressed in his preference and care for the poor, his vow of poverty, and his ministry as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. We are grateful to share this spiritual affinity with our new Pontiff,” Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said in a prepared statement.
O'Brien also feels the significance of the Pope's chosen name, Francis.
"His name, 'Francis,' indicates his desire to re-commit the Church to a simplicity of life focused on the gospel and on service to the poor, as St. Francis of Assisi was devoted to. St. Francis was also committed to renewing the Church in the 13th Century. Our new pope hopefully will bring the same spirit of renewal to our Church today," O'Brien wrote.
What do you think about the Pope's background as a Jesuit? Do you think he might visit Georgetown if he comes to the U.S.?
Read more on the Pope's selection: