The Norman Transcript


March 14, 2013

Clergy react to selection

NORMAN — Even though Rome is thousands of miles from Norman, it didn’t take long Wednesday afternoon for news to spread that Jorge Bergoglio, of Argentina, had been elected as pope.

Father Sami Chaaya of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Norman was very excited about the announcement.

“I’m very excited that the Cardinals voted a pope from South America. I was just speaking to my superior who knows him (Pope Francis) personally. He was a very modest Cardinal. He cooks for himself. He lives by himself. He takes public transportation,” Chaaya said. “I think that is very nice and I understand why the Cardinals agreed on a new pope so quickly.”

Chaaya also wasn’t surprised that the pope took on the name Francis, adding that St. Francis also was very modest.

“It is a bold name to choose. In a way, I understand why he chose it, as I’m sure St. Francis has been a mentor for him,” Chaaya said.

Even though Deacon Larry Sousa of St. Joseph Catholic Church lives in Norman, he couldn’t help but feel the excitement in the air surrounding Wednesday’s announcement.

“I was actually driving my car when I heard there was white smoke. Even though I’m not there, chills came over me. The suspense was unbelievable. When he actually came out, it almost moved me to tears. The last time I felt that way was my daughter’s wedding,” Sousa said.

Sousa is concerned that many things within the Catholic community will not change.

“I am excited about the possibility for change, but I don’t think there will be a lot of change. This pope was apparently selected by Pope Benedict to be Cardinal. So he’s probably about the same school,” Sousa said. “What I do think is gratifying is that we are addressing the demographic of the Catholic Church. Right now, 40 percent of the Catholic Church are Latin Americans.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tornado Repair Oklahoma officials account for $9.4M in disaster spending

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore schools receive $500K

    As Mickey Davis addressed the auditorium, the picture of a bright-eyed, happy 8-year-old on the podium in front of her could not be ignored. Davis’ son, Kyle Davis, was one of seven who lost their lives in the May 2013 tornadoes at Plaza ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Man arraigned after wife’s death

    A judge on Wednesday denied bond for a 37-year-old Norman man formally charged with stabbing his wife to death with a kitchen knife early Saturday morning in their southeast Norman apartment. Abid Sandhu, 37, was arraigned before Special ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Earth Day activities continue this week

    Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, but many say those extremes are even greater than before. Norman resident and biologist Kathy Rand is convinced those climate irregularities are a result of climate change caused by pollution, ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims

    Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected claims by two death row inmates that they’re entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them....

    April 24, 2014

  • School to present ‘Hamlet’

    To be or not to be? That is the question Norman North High School students are answering during their production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” this week....

    April 24, 2014

  • Historic house celebrates centennial

    When Fredrick Holmberg arrived in Norman more than 100 years ago, he tucked his violin beneath his arm and headed for the University of Oklahoma campus.  A century later, another violinist, Cindy Zhang, will perform at the home Holmberg ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Dorman wants bipartisan appeal

    Rep. Joe Dorman said he’s proud to be a Democrat running for governor, but he hopes to garner bipartisan support. In a visit Wednesday to the Transcript, Dorman said, if elected, he wants to work across party lines like former Gove. Henry ...

    April 24, 2014

  • ‘Frozen’ to air Friday

    Movies on Main in Blanchard will host a showing of “Frozen” at 8 p.m. Friday. The evening will include hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn and free movie merchandise....

    April 24, 2014

  • Safety Town registration begins Saturday

    Saturday marks the beginning of registration for Safety Town classes at Sooner Mall. Safety Town, a 37-year Norman tradition, teaches children, ages 5 and 6, the importance of bicycle, fire and personal safety. Classes are 50 minutes long ...

    April 24, 2014