Pope Francis and Pope Benedict together…


Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo Ecclesiam meam. – Matthaeus 16:18

On the Installation of Pope Francis

Pope Francis

On the 19th of March 2013, The Community-in-Formation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Cincinnati will celebrate with great reverence, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and share the great joy of Holy Mother Church at the installation of Pope Francis during the papal inauguration ceremony in Saint Peter’s Square.

With our prayers and sacrifices for Pope Francis, that began with his first appearance on the balcony of the Hall of Blessings in Saint Peter’s Basilica, comes our unconditional obedience and admiration for his holiness, simplicity, humility, and his great fraternal affection for the people and his mindfulness of the poor.

St. Philip and St. Felix

St. Philip meeting St. Felix in Rome…

We, the Community-in-Formation entrust ourselves to the prayers and Petrine Ministry of Pope Francis, in order that in our simple priestly ministry to teach, to sanctify and to shepherd the flock entrusted to us – faithfully and fruitfully – we may contribute with joy and reverence, to the Holy Father Francis, the work of building-up the Church of Jesus Christ, the Crucified Son of God.

As he receives his pallium, the sign of being the Shepherd of the most Holy Roman Church and his ring, the sign of being fisher of the people, the community commits ourselves wholeheartedly and unequivocally to his person and to the Magisterium, so that with him and with the faithful we confess one truth – Jesus Christ Crucified, Redeemer of Mankind.

Let us continue to pray and to offer sacrifices for Pope Francis for the fruition of his hope for all of us, that is, that the Holy Spirit, through the prayer of Our Lady, Our Mother, might grant us the grace to walk in Christ, to build the Church of Christ and to profess, with our lives, Jesus Christ crucified.

Pope Francis’ First Acts…

The Holy Father today, in one of his first official acts, visited the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major.  He prayed, as promised yesterday, to Our Lady, under the title of the Salvation of the People of Rome.  He also stopped to pray at the tomb of the Dominican St. Pius V, the Pope who codified the already centuries old Tridentine Missal.  Let us continue to pray for the Holy Father, as he prepares to do the task that God is asking of him.



Pope Francis

FrancisThe Community-in-Formation was delighted at the news of the election of Pope Francis, the 266th Successor of Saint Peter, and first from the Americas.  Our prayers are with the Pope as he embarks upon his Petrine Ministry.  The humility he brings to the office that has been laid upon him was evident from his presentation to the faithful, a reminder that it is only through the virtue of humility that we can truly do the work of God.  He has asked for our prayers, and so we pray for him.  Ad Multos Annos!

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff Francis.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church: grant him, we beseech Thee, that, by word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

A Call to Prayer


“Let us offer our prayers and make sacrifices for the cardinals who will gather in conclave to elect the successor of St. Peter, whom we already love with all our heart.” Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei.

The resignation of Benedict XVI reminds us that it is the Spirit of the Father and the Son who is the one guiding Holy Mother Church.  Jesus Christ, Perfect Man and Perfect God, the Founder of the most holy Roman Church, wants a human instrument to make him visible before the community of disciples of faith, hope and charity.


And so even if the ‘Chair of Peter’ is vacant due to the resignation of Benedict XVI, which saddens us, the words of Jesus are consoling:  “I will not leave you orphans … I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. (John 14: 18 & 16).

When he ascended to the right hand of His Father, the Master conferred on Peter the tiller of his barque.  And this chain of conferral continues, because after one pontificate comes another, in accord with Christ’s promise to Simon: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  (Matt. 16:18)

Although Christ’s words do not pass away and He remains true to his promises, all of us Catholics must pray.  We have to pray and pray, God wants us to pray, not for His good but for our good, for the good of the Church, and for the salvation of the world. In particular, because the election of the new Roman Pontiff is of such great importance for the whole world, it is especially important that we pray for the Cardinals in the Conclave, that they may elect one who will do God’s holy will.

Let us pray for the new Roman Pontiff, for after Jesus and Mary, we must love the Pope with all the strength of our heart, whoever he may be. We should already love the Roman Pontiff who is to come. We must be determined to serve him with our whole life.


In the Oratory, we are mindful of the example of our holy Father, St. Philip, whose mission and apostolate was to resanctify the City of Rome itself. He was the trusted counselor of many Popes, who even tried to persuade him to accept membership of the Sacred College, and who did name several of his closest disciples and penitents as Cardinals. St. Philip dearly loved and submitted himself in all things to the Vicar of Christ. Let us ask his intercession that God may send us a shepherd who will govern his Church faithfully and according to His Will.

“Pray, and offer to our Lord even your moments of relaxation. We offer even this for the Pope who is to come, just as we have offered the Mass during all these days, just as we have offered…even our breathing.” St. Josemaria Escriva.