Let’s also pray for families of cardinals

Black smoke Tuesday – and suspense continues for the elderly mother of Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.

Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, recently told a local newspaper that she hopes her son will not be elected pope because she will miss him.

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s youngest brother, Patrick, expressed similar sentiments in a recent interview.

“A question I’ve been asked recently is, “Do you think your brother will be the first American Pope?” My answer, with all due respect to papacy and the Church that I love and respect, is: I hope not — we barely see him as it is!”

Even Pope Emeritus Benedict’s brother – Monsignor Georg Ratzinger – said he was excited about the possibility of spending more time with his brother after Benedict’s resignation from the papacy.

These comments illustrate the great sacrifice families must make when a child, a brother, or a sister discovers and pursues a religious vocation. And that sacrifice is magnified by a post as consuming as the papacy.

As we pray for the cardinal-electors, let’s also remember to pray for their families…and the families of all consecrated religious.