Guam priest talks about selection of pope
by Jolene Toves
Guam - Like Pope Francis I, Father Francis Hezel is a Jesuit priest. A Jesuit is a member of a Catholic religious order for men, much like the order of the Fraciscans, Domincans or Salesians.
Being a Jesuit is to be a member of the group formally known as the Society of Jesus. Like most Jesuits, Father Hezel was surprised that Pope Francis was selected because Jesuits make a promise not to seek ecclesiastical office. "When we make our final vows not to seek dignities and to turn them down if we possibly can there are exceptions to this as you know there are some Jesuit that do become bishops a few cardinals just as Francis did and for the first time ever we have a Jesuit pope," he said.
Jesuits typically work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. They also minister in hospitals and parishes and reportedly promote social justice and ecumenical dialogue. According to Fr. Hezel, because he is now the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis is no longer considered a Jesuit.
Fr. Hezel says he sees the pontiff as free and easy in his profession and love of God, a person who is at home with the poor and a person not dominated by agenda whether political or otherwise but motivated by the most important of all. "His loving relationship between himself and God and bringing this loving relationship to blossom in anybody he meets," he stated. "And I think this is what the man does wonderfully well."
Seeing Pope Francis the first as humble and simple, Fr. Hezel feels that more important than anything else is Pope Francis' love of God and the people who he connects with God and the ease at which he is able to sit and converse with people, reminding him of Pope John XXIII, who served from 1958 to 1963.