Pope asks people if they used 2013 to help others

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis used his year-end prayer service on Tuesday evening to urge people to ask themselves a tough question: Did they mainly spend 2013 promoting self-interests or helping others?

That’s what we all should consider as New Year’s celebrations get under way, the pontiff said as he led the service in St. Peter’s Basilica to give thanks, a Vatican year-end tradition.

`’Let us courageously ask ourselves: How did we live the time (God) gave us?” Francis asked in his homily. `’Did we use it above all for ourselves, for our interests, or did we know how to spend it for others as well?”

He also encouraged people to reflect on whether they used 2013 to improve the place where they live. `’This year did we contribute, in our own small ways, to make it more livable, orderly, welcoming?”

There are “so many people marked by material and moral poverty, poor people, unhappy, suffering, who appeal to the conscience not only of public authorities but of every citizen,” Francis said.

During his first year as pope, Francis has stressed that he wants the Catholic church to be a `’poor” church, focused on reaching out to those who live on the margins of society and others in need.

Citing Rome as an example, the pope noted that the city is `’full of tourists, but also full of refugees. Rome is full of people who work, but also of people who don’t find work, or who do jobs that are underpaid or without dignity.”

`’All have the right to be treated with the same attitude of welcoming and fairness because everyone carries human dignity,” Francis said.

After the solemn service in the basilica, Francis put on a long white coat and went out into St. Peter’s Square to admire a life-sized Nativity scene and greet well-wishers.

Right after his election as pope in March, the Argentine-born Francis established his style as a down-to-earth pastor who likes to chat, shake hands and hug his flock when in public.

More in Local News

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Second teen charged after $1 million in school vandalism

Two teens now face felony charges for damage at two schools in Darrington last summer.

Charged in stabbing, his long list of felonies could grow

The Arlington man is accused of attacking a man who interrupted a possible burglary in Everett.

A potentially transformative council election in Snohomish

As the city adopts a new form of government, many new faces are seeking office.

Mill Creek hires Gina Hortillosa as public works director

Hortillosa will be responsible for creating strategic infrastructure plans to promote economic growth.

1 shot dead, another wounded in apparent Everett robbery

There are indications the victims might have known the shooter, who apparently fled in a vehicle.

No third term for Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe

He quietly has been letting staff and community leaders know that he plans to retire in December 2018.

Ballots are going out and voting will soon begin

In Snohomish County, one of the marquee contests is in Everett where voters are choosing a new mayor.

Most Read