Alaska Bishops Meet at Juneau Cathedral in Honor of Papal Conclave


by Natalie Travis

JUNEAU--  Alaska Catholic officials met at the Cathedral of the Nativity for a special mass in honor of the beginning of the papal conclave Tuesday (3/12).

The turnout included, Bishop Edward J. Burns of the Diocese of Juneau and Southeast Alaska, Archbishop Roger Schwietz of Anchorage, and Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of Fairbanks. 

Bishop Burn says normally 12p.m. mass at the cathedral consists of around 15 people, but in light of the conclave--around 75 participants showed.

Today marked the end of novena; 9 days consisting of special prayers, asking for the grace of the Holy Spirit upon the cardinal electors.  Instead of purple vestments, the usual color worn during the season of Lent, red was worn for the Holy Spirit.  Burns says the color symbolizes the fire sent upon the disciples at Pentecost.

When asked if he was nervous about the election of the new pope by someone who approached him, Burns reiterated his faith.

"I simply indicated that no, I really wasn't," He said. "Because deep down inside, I do know that the Holy Spirit guides our Church and our Lord is at the helm of our faith."

Cardinal electors met in conclave at the Vatican to select a successor to Pope Benedict the XVI, who resigned his ministry of St. Peter, due to health reasons, according to reports.



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