EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 12, 2013

Pope making right choice to step down, locals say

Catholic community shocked, but supports leader's decision


“If the Holy Spirit inspires the cardinals to chose a pope from Africa or South America, that would be wonderful,” Groome said. “We need a bridge builder.’’

The Rev. Francis Mawn, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish at Holy Rosary Church in Lawrence, said Pope Benedict’s legacy will be his scholastics.

“He has a brilliant mind,” Mawn said.

Mawn said he was inspired by the pope and that he hopes the next pontiff is similar to Pope Benedict.

“We need someone who emphasizes church teachings and traditions,’’ Mawn said. “Hopefully, it will be someone younger so he can do more pastoral visits around the world.’’

The Rev. John Michalowski, pastor of Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish in Salem, said Pope Benedict’s encyclicals on Faith, Hope and Theology will be among his legacies.

“His deep love of Jesus Christ, his writings on Christ are ones that call us really to follow Christ,’’ Michalowski said. “There we find peace and our strength.’’

Contributing to this story was Staff Writer Alex Lippa.

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