When I traded in my Jersey drivers license for a Tennessee DL I ran into a bit of an issue over my name at the DMV. The only male in the joint and one of only two customers, I kept hearing the name Michele being yelled out by the wonderfully cheerful
inmate employee behind the counter. I pay it no mind. Finally she began to shriek it in my general direction. I looked up at her and she yells “Sir do you want your license or not?” I said yes I do but I was waiting for my name to be called. She says, “I’ve been calling you for 5 minutes.” I reply, no you have not. She shoots back, “Sir! I have been calling Michael for five minutes and those ladies will tell you the same thing!” I looked at her with nothing. My only response was a sheepish, “My name’s not Michael.” “She laughs out, you mean you actually go by Francis?!!” I regained myself and fired the final blow. “Yes ma’am, you see in the North we go by first names, not middle names. It’s most likely the main reason we won the war.”
It’s a tough name. I know. I’ve lived with it for 46 years. Rarely do you meet a male of the species with it. In my life time my cousin from the Irish side of the family is the only other male I have met with the name. It’s abbreviated version, Fran, almost never gets pronounced correctly the first time around. Bran, Ted, Brad, Fred, etc… are some of the variations I have heard. So now I always go by my full name of Francis Michael. Although I suspect I won’t have much trouble with my name any more.
Put this in your smokestack DMV Lady!
Habemus Papam – Franciscus primum. We have a Pope – Francis I
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been, by divine election, named Pope and takes the name Francis I. Considered a humble but learned man, Francis I takes his name from St. Francis of Assisi, a man of similar attributes.
The news has been reporting Pope Francis is a scholar and somewhat of an intellectual. Let me clear something up. You don’t get to be a priest in the Catholic Church without being a scholar. At least 4 years of college and then another 4 years in seminary, constitutes the basic requirement to be a priest. So saying he’s a scholar is a little redundant. Like St Francis, the Pope seems to have a special affinity for helping the poor.
CNN’s Vatican “expert” John Allen, had this take on why the Pope choose the name. Allen described the name selection as “the most stunning” choice and “precedent shattering.” The name symbolizes “poverty, humility, simplicity and rebuilding the Catholic Church,” Allen said. “The new pope is sending a signal that this will not be business as usual.”
In other words, the Church believes they have the long sought after reformer that will set right the things that need to be set right. And yeah like any massive organization, they have some issues. Only more proof that no man is perfect and the ten commandments are not rules to live by but standards that can’t be achieved on your own effort and merit.
For those of you who are not Catholic, or simply don’t care, or have your own reasons of faith that causes ill feeling towards the Church and Pope, I would only say this, the Catholic Church was, is, and will continue to be interwoven in world history. There has been an unbroken line of Popes since Jesus commanded Peter to tend his flock.
I am no longer a practicing Catholic. I have not been to confession in the Catholic form since the 8th grade. While I have a soft spot for the Church and my family and friends still keeping the faith, the historical nature of this event is compelling enough for anyone to take interest, in my opinion. An unbroken line since the Apostle Peter; how is that not interesting?
And besides, with a name like Francis he has to be cool.
You can follow the Pope on twitter – https://twitter.com/Pontifex
How cool is that.