Cardinal DiNardo prays for Pope Francis on 10th anniversary of the pontiff's election

March 13, 2023

Pope Francis greets Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and then-president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sept. 20, 2019, at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, said “Ten years ago, Pope Francis was a surprise choice coming to us from Argentina and over these years has continued to be a Pope of surprises.”

As a member of the Sacred College, Cardinal DiNardo served as a Cardinal-Elector in the Papal Conclave of 2013, which saw the election of Pope Francis to the See of Peter ten years ago on March 13, 2013.

“Pope Francis has consistently called for a renewal in our attentiveness to those on the margins and the most vulnerable among us,” he said. “I am grateful to Pope Francis for these past ten years and pray for his ministry daily.”

Less than three years after the pope’s election, Cardinal DiNardo was among the few on the tarmac to greet Pope Francis when the pontiff arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland near Washington in 2015 for his landmark papal visit to the United States.

As president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Cardinal DiNardo was also one of four U.S. Bishops who attended the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment convened by Pope Francis in October 2018. 

Cardinal DiNardo moderated one of the working groups and also gave an address to the entire Synod of Bishops. Cardinal DiNardo has previously also attended the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, convened by Pope Francis in October 2015, as vice president of the U.S. bishops' conference. 

These encounters with the pope were among several that Cardinal DiNardo had with Pope Francis in the last decade of the papacy.

- Reporting from the Texas Catholic Herald contributed to this story.