Are you looking for a unique way to support the cardinals as they come together to elect the next pope?  Look no further!  At,

You now have the opportunity to actively be part of this providential endeavour by having a Cardinal assigned to you, who you will support through your prayer and intercession during the coming weeks before and during the conclave and for three days following the election.

To register on the site, you simply enter: your name, your e-mail address, and a code to prove that you are not a robot abusing the site.  Then, you are assigned a cardinal to "adopt" throughout and beyond the papal conclave.

After entering my information, I received information and a photo of my adopted cardinal, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

Photo from Photo from

In addition to a photo, those adopting cardinals learn basic information such as: the cardinal's birth date, the date of their entrance into the college of cardinals, where the cardinal is from, and his "function" (in Timothy Cardinal Dolan's case, he is the Archbishop of New York, United States).

Consider adopting a cardinal as a family.  I am printing off Timothy Cardinal Dolan's photo and placing it on the fridge to give us a visual reminder to pray for him.  Perhaps placing his photo on the fridge will encourage us to fast when we otherwise would have indulged!  We are trying to learn as much as we can about this man entrusted with this special office--reading about the Archdiocese of New York, subscribing to his personal blog, etc.

Perhaps this is the former teacher in me talking, but I think it would be a fun opportunity for you and your family to do a little "interdisciplinary study" on your adopted cardinal.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Print off a national or world map to pinpoint your cardinal's geographical location.
  • If possible, learn about your cardinal's childhood.  Little ones love learning what important historical figures were like at their age.
  • Find and read any of his publications to learn a little more about the things of most importance to him.
  • Discover his country's particular challenges/concerns.
  • Learn some basic phrases in his native tongue.
  • Find out what role his country plays in world and Church history.
  • Dedicate a dinner to celebrating and exploring the country's or region's cuisine.
  • Print off and pray "Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest" together during your family prayer time:
    • Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
      and in our souls take up Thy rest;
      come with Thy  grace and heavenly aid
      to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
      O comforter, to Thee we cry,
      O heavenly gift of  God Most High,
      O fount of  life and fire of love,
      and sweet anointing from above.

      Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
      Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
      Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
      Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

      Kindle our sense from above,
      and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
      with patience firm and virtue high
      the weakness of our flesh supply.

      Far from us drive the foe we dread,
      and grant us Thy peace instead;
      so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
      turn from the path of life aside.

      Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
      the Father and the Son to know;
      and Thee, through endless times confessed,
      of both the eternal Spirit blest.

      Now to the Father and the Son,
      Who rose from death, be glory given,
      with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
      henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

Have you and your family adopted a cardinal?  What special things are you doing to bring this practice to life for your family?  Do you have any ideas to add to my list?  Please share them!

If you haven't adopted a cardinal yet, consider adopting one today at!

In addition to adopting a cardinal, please read Lisa Hendey's article, "6 Cool Tools to Teach Your Children About the Conclave" to findmore fun ways to learn about the conclave as a family.

Copyright 2013 Catherine Boucher