A new pope to lead the way


Along with the rest of the world last week, I watched the countless news reports focused on the balcony of St. Peter’s Square in Rome as the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became the world’s new pontiff, Pope Francis.
As a young man growing up in a Catholic home and attending Catholic school for 12 years, I had always regarded the pope as someone who was closer to God than anyone else. I thought he had a sort of “red phone” that he could pick up at anytime and talk to God. Until now, I never really paid attention to how they chose the pope. Then, as I heard how Pope Francis was elected, the conclave, the significance of the smoke’s color, the choice of name, I became more aware that the Pope is really just a man, a powerful, deeply religious man who will lead the world’s more than 1.2 billion Catholics. 
From what I read about the new Pope, I am impressed. He is a simple man who was selected by the other Cardinals, in part because they appreciated that he did not “campaign” for the position. He carried his own bags to and from the Rose Hotel where he stayed before the conclave and took the shuttle bus, instead of a private car. He took public transportation before being the Pope and has since given his first papal address in simple black shoes, a steel cross, and bishop’s hat.    
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, a fellow Argentine, told the news agency, Reuters, “This is a new breeze of fresh air that is blowing through the Church and the name of that breeze is Francis.”
Before he was Pope Francis (an excellent choice of a name, by the way, for the humble Argentinian and Jesuit pontiff), this man did great things: championing for the poor, leading a humble life, and staying true to the roots of the Catholic Church. I hope now that he is Pope Francis, he will be able to continue to do that.  
Easter Ham Give-Away
On a completely different topic, this is the second week of our Easter Ham Give-Away, a traditional drawing where you visit the participating businesses, enter your name for a free ham, and hopefully spend more money before/after you sign your ham drawing slip. 
This is very popular among customers and businesses alike. It brings people into stores, and gets the businesses name out there in the form of a great invitation. I encourage everyone to visit the participating businesses, and fill out their ham slips. The Ham Give-Away sponsors this year are Edel’s Meat Market (a ham supplier), Fred’s IGA (a ham supplier), Wayside Liquors, Herrmann Drug/Thrifty White Pharmacy, Frandsen Bank and Trust, Todd’s Auto Parts, OAM Food n’ Fuel, the American Legion Club, and the Montgomery Messenger office.
Please frequent these businesses because without them, we wouldn’t have a contest.

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