As we follow news about the events in Rome, I invite all Catholics throughout our 24 counties of the Archdiocese to join me in prayer for the cardinal-electors, for the yet unknown man who will be our new Holy Father, and for our Church.
We are all invited to offer private prayers, works, and almsgiving for the successful election of a new Holy Father. The simple custom of frequently praying the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father for this intention is a wonderful way for us to join with the universal Church in this sacred task.
In addition, here is a prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Prayer for the Election of a New Pope
O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
There is wonderful information on the USCCB website about this period without a Pope, known as the sede vacante or interregnum. Go here. Also, the Archdiocese of Washington has excellent resources, including age-appropriate material for children and youth. See the website here.
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of all in our Church!