The singing of an Argentine hymn ''Pan de Vida Eterna'' (''Bread of Life from Heaven'') began a Mass of Thanksgiving Tuesday at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown in celebrating the installation of Pope Francis.
The Mass was to honor the selection and installation of Francis, which took place Tuesday in Rome. Tuesday also marked the feast of St. Joseph.
Bishop George Murry, along with priests of the Diocese of Youngstown, spoke to more than 150 people on the March 13 election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as pope.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Bob Coupland
Bishop George Murry and other priests of the Diocese of Youngstown participate Tuesday in a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown celebrating the installation of Pope Francis, which took place early Tuesday in Rome.
Among those in attendance were Oblate Sisters Valentino Fapibne, Karen Marie Barile and Teresina Rosa, who sat together in one of the front pews.
''We were elated with the selection of Pope Francis. We are all so happy to be here for the celebration Mass,'' Rosa said.
Murry said, ''When the Mass began in Rome, it was four o'clock in the morning here. Since we knew we would not get a lot of people to come to a Mass then, we decided to hold one later in the day to give thanks to God for the gift of the new Pope.''
Murry said the message Francis gave from the balcony at St. Peter's to the crowd after being elected last week was ''a very humble and engaging speech'' on the importance of guiding and protecting the church.
''He spoke to the crowd and asked them to pray for him before giving them a blessing. It was a very humble gesture that meant a lot to the people who appreciated his simplicity and asking for our prayers,'' Murry said.
''We celebrate the great feast of St. Joseph as he was called to be the father of many. Now Pope Francis has been called to the be the father and protector of many worldwide,'' Murry said.
He said Pope Francis stressed caring for the young, old and the poor.
''We must first protect the presence of Christ in our lives. Christ is our shield and our hope,'' he said.
''On the night that we first met him, Pope Francis asked us to pray for him. Let us fulfill his request this night by asking the Holy Spirit to shower him with the strength and wisdom to lead the church into a new reunion with Christ,'' Murry said.
Murry said he received many calls from different church denominations including a note from the local Jewish community wishing the pope well and wishing their prayers for him.
''That type of ecumenical prayer for the Pope is really great...My prayer for him is that he will have strength and courage,'' he said.