HARTFORD – Neither snow nor sleet nor the hour of the morning kept the faithful away from viewing the Installation Mass for Pope Francis on Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.
Dozens of people travelled from all over the archdiocese to view the historic event with Archbishop Henry J. Mansell. The live Mass from the Vatican, which began at approximately 4 a.m. EDT, was streamed by EWTN, the global Catholic network, and projected onto a large screen at the cathedral.
For Lise Rushlow and her son Daniel, who live in Torrington, it didn’t matter how snowy it was or how early it was. They said it was important for them to be there.
"I come from a large, spiritual family and I wanted to share this day with the archbishop," said Ms. Rushlow. Daniel echoed her sentiments, and added, "This sort of thing doesn’t happen too often."
Giovanna Espinoza of Wethersfield, a catechist, said that she participated in the viewing so that she could tell her students first-hand what it meant to see the pope installed.
"I will tell them that I watched it on a big screen and that it was very emotional," she said.
Her sister, Resa Jara, said that she made the effort to come because Pope Francis is the first pope to hail from the Americas. "I am from Peru, so it was important for me," she said.
Anastasia Agbassan did not travel as far as the others. She lives in Hartford, but said she was thrilled to witness the Mass with others in the archdiocese.
The newly installed pope, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, decided to call himself Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, the humble friar who dedicated his life to helping the poor. He mentioned his commitment to the poor and disenfranchised in his homily, when he made an appeal to Catholics and all religious groups to be kind to others.
"We mustn’t be afraid of goodness or tenderness," the pontiff said.
As Pope Francis administered holy Communion to the masses in Vatican City, Archbishop Mansell did the same in the cathedral.
The archbishop acknowledged the momentous occasion by thanking people for waking up at an "ungodly hour for a Godly ceremony."