PHOENIX — It’s been one year since Pope Francis took his position as head of the Catholic Church and a Valley priest said that he has seen an uptick in Catholics returning to the church.
Father John Muir of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Church in Anthem was among the thousands of people who were in St. Peter’s Square when Pope Francis first appeared on the balcony. Muir said that Francis has made Catholics more excited about their faith.
“Pope Francis is such a powerful symbolic figure,” he said. “He’s really encouraged Catholics to get back to basics and to not worry about what’s not really essential to who we are as Catholics. I think he’s also encouraged us to follow his example of being someone who takes their faith seriously and puts it into practice.”
Muir said, since Francis became Pope, there’s more people in the pews at his church.
“We’ve seen probably a 30 to 40 percent increase in people coming to masses,” he said. “Many of these are Catholics who were not that energetic or excited about their faith. They seem to be catching this ‘Pope Francis Fire.'”
Muir said some have been reassessing the priorities of the Catholic religion in their lives.
Muir said he’s also seeing members of his church starting to do more volunteer work in their community.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.