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Conclave: Who’s really in charge?

Conclave: Who’s really in charge?

By: Jacob Flores ‘16

Aquinas House was truly blessed this past week to have Mario Enzler come talk about his experiences as a member of the Swiss Guard.  Suffice it to say that Mario packed the house, both in terms of actual numbers and volume of laughter.  Mario mixed in plenty of humor throughout his presentation. At one point he had the whole room laughing when he talked about showing up to Swiss Army training camp in Italian designer jeans and a Rolex as a “dude” who had no idea just how amazing his life’s journey was about to become.

As he continued, Mario shared his testimony about how God called him to become a member of the Swiss Guard one day at adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  Never underestimate the power of being in God’s presence.  He recounted some personal experiences that he had while serving under Blessed John Paul II.  Astonishingly, Mario witnessed one of Blessed John Paul II’s miracles, and was later called in to testify within the context of Blessed John Paul II’s beatification.

All that said, the insight that stood out the most had to do with the upcoming conclave of cardinals.  Mario drew a distinction between political elections and the election of a pope.  He explained that God has already chosen who the next pope will be.  The cardinals who comprise the Conclave now bear the responsibility of prayerfully and fraternally discerning and electing the person the Holy Spirit has chosen.  Mario urged us all to do our part in praying for the cardinals as they strive to do precisely that.  He went on to note that while many in the media usually portray the conclave as something akin to a presidential election with candidates making promises and vouching for themselves, there is much more actually taking place.

In the final analysis, it is reassuring to know that the pope is chosen ultimately by God.  We are grateful to Mario who did an extraordinary job of salting a serious message with wonderful humor.  It was truly enriching to learn about the conclave from someone who has served “inside the Vatican” as a Swiss Guardsman.

Jacob Flores ‘16 grew up in Arlington, TX where he spent his High School Years at Grace Prep Academy.  In addition to his involvement here at Aquinas House, Jacob plays center for the Dartmouth Big Green football team.


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