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Br. Steve Herro's Blog


Br. Steve HerroBr. Steve Herro, O. Praem., professed solemn vows to the Community of St. Norbert Abbey in 1991. For several years, he headed the justice and peace ministry of St. Norbert Abbey and presently serves as Manager of Mission and Ministry, Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, VA. His current ministry connects him to national Catholic issues and Church ministers throughout the country.

DISCLAIMER: This blog represents Br. Herro's own opinions and experiences. It does not represent an official position or opinion of neither of the organizations, St. Norbert Abbey nor Catholic Charities USA, nor of any of the organizations' members.

April 1, 2014
Entry #26: "This Pope Gives Me (and a lot of Protestants) Hope"

by Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Monsignor has lived in our community at Curley Hall at The Catholic University of America since the pontificate of Pope Pius XII and the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower. I have lived in the community for two and one-half years. Nevertheless, this does not stop us from occasional friendly sparring. When I told Monsignor a few weeks ago about my Pope Francis bumper sticker, “This Pope Gives Me Hope,” his response was, “What is the matter?  Didn’t his predecessor give you hope?”

Occasionally, I do escape from Curley Hall and The Catholic University of America for spiritual or educational enrichment or a little fun. Such was my experience at Georgetown Presbyterian Church several Sunday mornings ago. I got an e-mail invitation to “Pope Francis: One Year After his Election,” a panel with one Franciscan doctoral student, Catholic syndicated columnist Mark Shields, and Lisa Sharon Harper, Evangelical Christian and Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners. You should also know that the moderator of the panel was an elder of Georgetown Presbyterian, Susan Page. Susan is also the Washington Bureau Chief of USA Today and host of “The Diane Rehm Show,” a popular Washington Public Radio news show.

Perhaps my greatest take-home from the panel was the enthusiasm that the Protestant leaders expressed for Pope Francis. Prior to March 16, 2014, I had never heard a Protestant refer to a Pope as “our Pope.” Lisa even joked that she was thinking of becoming Catholic. And it was not just Lisa and Susan who wowed me with their support for Pope Francis; the closing prayer was led by Senior Pastor Camille Cooke Murray, another Pope Francis supporter.

I thought of staying at the Presbyterian Church for morning worship, but decided that I could not fit in the Presbyterian worship, Catholic Mass and Catholic Rite of Election within a five hour time period. Nevertheless, sharing a Sunday morning with a Presbyterian congregation to learn more about Pope Francis, and to leave most uplifted about the future of ecumenical relations, was well worth the five-mile walk that Sunday morning.


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