Msgr. Guarino in St. Peter’s Square as the new pope was announced.

Rockville Centre priest Msgr. Charles Guarino went to  Rome in February to take  a course at the Institute for Continuing Theological Education. He was set to be there three weeks, but when Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be stepping down at the end of the month, Msgr. Guarino knew he had to extend his stay.

In this special blog, he shares some of his impressions and photos from this exciting time in Church history. For even more details, check the April edition of Long Island Catholic magazine.




U.S. Cardinals Edwin O’Brien, above center, and Sean O’Malley of Boston, below, prepare to enter the conclave to elect the new pope.



Msgr. Guarino wrote the following about the new pope’s first Angelus address on March 17.
“Though it is a grey and cloudy Sunday afternoon, the smiles and happiness of the many thousands in St. Peter’s Square certainly lit up the atmosphere and brought warmth to all who saw and heard Pope Francis
during his first Angelus. Reflecting on today’s Gospel he reminded us that God’s love is visible and palpable in the mercy we often receive as did the woman caught in adultery. While she was urged to “sin no more,” she was clearly embraced by the merciful Jesus. And that is an iconic image of what Pope Francis hopes for the Church — not to judge or condemn but always to forgive. This Pope embodies the love and tender mercy of Our Lord. Viva il Papa!”


The crowd in St. Peter’s Square during Pope Francis’ first Angelus address on March 17.


Msgr. Guarino’s view of the pope giving his Angelus address.

Check back for a report from Msgr. Guarino after he attends the pope’s installation Mass on March 19. One photo is now available here.