The Richmond Register

Local News

March 16, 2013

New pope has simple focus on Jesus, St. Mark priest says

RICHMOND — When Father Jim Sichko, pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church, announced early Wednesday afternoon that the church would celebrate a mass in honor of the new pope the evening after he was chosen, the local priest didn’t expect that would happen until Friday or even Saturday.

However, not long after plans for the special mass were announced, white smoke billowed from a Vatican chimney, signifying that a new leader of the world’s Catholics had been elected.

While the St. Mark congregation didn’t have much notice, the mass in honor of the new Pope Francis was well attended, Sichko said.

Although hearing that the next pope would be from the western hemisphere was a surprise, Sichko said the short time needed to elect a new pope was a bigger surprise. However unexpected they may have been, both developments bode well for the church’s future, he said.

Someday a pope will be chosen from the United States, Sichko said, by electing a pope not just from outside the Vatican but outside of Europe, the cardinals have recognized how far the global Catholic community extends.

Just as they had done eight years ago, when Pope Benedict was elected, the students of St. Mark Catholic School wasted no time Thursday in writing to Pope Francis to tell him they were praying for him.

Included in the messages that will be mailed to the Vatican are praying hands the children had colored with crayons.

Some included a greeting in Spanish, the Argentine pope’s native language, and some invited him to visit them in Richmond later this year when Francis has scheduled a trip to the United States.

St. Mark’s adult parishioners have felt an immediate connection with the new pope, Sichko said.

A church member who met with the priest Friday said when Francis speaks on television he feels as if the pope is speaking through the screen directly to him.

Sichko said he has been impressed with the new pope’s humility, simplicity and spontaneity, which were immediately evident after his election.

When the cardinals came to kiss the new pope’s ring and pledge their obedience, Francis chose not to ascend the papal throne for the ritual. He also continued to wear the simple black shoes that recently had been given to him and the cross he wore as archbishop of Buenos Aires instead of the jeweled gold cross customarily worn by the pope. And as he conversed with the cardinals, Francis also spoke spontaneously instead of following a carefully scripted routine as has been traditional.

“Pope Francis is calling us back to what the church is really all about, and that is Jesus Christ,” Sichko said.

The new pope has the intellect of Pope Benedict, the charisma of Pope John Paul II and the heart of Jesus, the St. Mark priest said.

Francis is likely to streamline the Vatican bureaucracy, just as he reorganized the offices for the archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Sichko said.

Pope Benedict knew what he was doing when he announced his retirement during Lent, Sichko said.

Lent is a time of purification, of letting go, of reflection and renewal, he said during an interview in the St. Mark Parish Hall as people came and went for the church’s Friday Lenten fish fry.

The eating of fish - a lighter, simpler food than other meats - carries with it the spiritual and personal themes of Lent, Sichko said.

“Pope John Paul II taught us how to die, Pope Benedict has taught us how to let go and surrender to God,” he said, good lessons not just for Lent but for all times.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or at 624-6690.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Airport getting $600,000 in federal funds

    On July 14, Gov. Steve Beshear announced the Madison Airport and the Eastern Kentucky University aviation program would be receiving $1.1 million for expanded and improved facilities.
    On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, announced the airport also would benefit from $600,000 in Federal Aviation Administration funds.

    July 31, 2014

  • Veggies going on the grill Saturday

    The Madison County Farmers Market will demonstrate Saturday that fresh garden vegetables can go on the grill as well as in a salad.
    The Madison County Extension Service staff, along with members of the extension homemakers clubs, will be on hand to show market customers how tasty grilled vegetables can be, said Gina Noe, extension agent for family and consumer sciences.

    July 31, 2014

  • Stumbo says McConnell ‘handpicked’ leader of coal association

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo said Wednesday there’s an obvious reason the president of the Kentucky Coal Association has publicly defended Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s support of the coal industry.

    July 31, 2014

  • Berea utility doubles solar farm, again

    Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
    Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
    Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.

    July 30, 2014

  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies

      

    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results