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Franciscans welcome Pope Francis I as herald of simplicity

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The monks at the convent of St. Francis in Assisi were overjoyed on Wednesday when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected and decided to be the first pontiff in Catholic history to take the name Francis. "For us in the Basilica in Assisi that holds the body (of St. Francis, this choice (of a name) prompted a surge of admiration ...," said Father Mauro Gambetti, the abbot of the monastery.

US Franciscan friars go digital, accept prayer requests via text

By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The largest group of Franciscan friars in the United States is offering the faithful a new way to pray in the digital age by accepting prayer requests via text messages. The Friars of Holy Name Province, who staff 40 parishes and have colleges, soup kitchens and food centers along the eastern seaboard, as well as groups in Peru and Tokyo, are among a few religious groups offering this type of digital service.
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