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Cardinal Oswald Gracias thanks God for Pope Francis



March 14, 2014 - Recalling Pope Francis on the first anniversary of his election on Thursday, March 13, Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay regarding him as a gift to the Church. Speaking to AsiaNews, Cardinal Gracias, the former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said that the past one year has been a joyful journey, full of solidarity and fraternity both for the universal Church as well as the Church in India. "Since his election, Francis has strengthened the mission of the Church in India, focusing on 'an option for the poor' as a concrete way of proclaiming God's love in today's world," the cardinal sad. "Let us begin this journey together," the prelate recalled the Pope’s first words after his election that emphasized the spirit of friendship, love, trust, faith and strong brotherhood. The cardinal said we celebrate this journey “with prayer and works of compassion and charity, and we rededicate our Mission to serve the peoples of our country and work for nation building". The Indian prelate pointed out that Pope Francis has strengthened the Mission of the Church in India, advocating "an option for the poor" as an effective way of proclaiming God's love in today's world and attract others to the Gospel message. Pope Francis inducted Archbishop of Bombay into his special 8-member Council of Cardinals to advise him in the reform and governance of the Roman Curia and the worldwide Catholic Church.

Cardinal Gracias along with four bishops from his archdiocese will lead a Eucharistic adoration and thanksgiving prayers for the Pope on March 18th, the eve of the feast of St. Joseph, when a year ago Pope Francis officially launched his pontificate with a solemn Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. On March 19th, Cardinal Gracias will celebrate Mass in Mumbai’s Cathedral of the Holy Name, to thank God for the Pope and pray for His continued graces and blessings on His Vicar on earth. (Source: AsiaNews)




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