Special mass said in Tucson in honor of Pope Francis - Tucson News Now

Special mass said in Tucson in honor of Pope Francis

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Local Catholics gathered at St. Augustine Cathedral Friday for a special mass in honor of Pope Francis.

Bishop of the Diocese of Tucson Gerald Kicanas led the mass.

At the Mass of Thanksgiving the bishop and the congregation gave thanks for their new pope and offered prayers for him.

A man greeted Bishop Kicanas as the bishop entered the cathedral.

"Beautiful day!" the man said.

Clearly in good spirits, Bishop Kicanas answered, "Fabulous!"

The splendor and the unity of the church came together Friday at St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Tucson.

Bishop Kicanas was joined by monsignors and other priests from around southern Arizona and the world.

The cathedral was filled with the faithful as mass was said for Pope Francis.

Bishop Kicanas reminded everyone that the pope had asked for prayers.

He spoke of the significance of a pope coming from the Americas, a pope who shuns formality.

Kicanas said Pope Francis will serve, not be served, that he will walk with his people.

The bishop said Pope Francis knew what he was doing when he chose the name Francis.

Many believe the pope was thinking of St. Francis of Assisi who ministered to the poor hundreds of years ago.

Kicanas said the new pope is telling the people God is walking with them, especially with the poor.

"Who need more than anyone to know they are loved, that they are special, that they are important. His message to us is we have to walk with the poor," said Kicanas.

That's a message that resonates with Roman Catholics we spoke with at the cathedral, and who shared with us their prayers for the pope.

"That he is really led by the Holy Spirit to do great things for the poor," said Linda Linker.

"I want to thank God for finally sending a pope, a Latin American pope, who has a connection with the people," said Manny Martinez.

"Just that he's going to bring some changes in terms of making people more aware of poverty and the poorest among us," said Kelly Lundin.

After the mass Bishop Kicanas said Pope Francis is a "people pope" who will lead by his actions.

"I suspect this pope is not going to be so influential with his words, but more inspiring by his actions," said the bishop.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

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