A Call To Serve

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A Call To Serve

Pope Francis and the Catholic Future

This thoughtful, vivid introduction to Pope Francis’ life and his promising future in the Vatican details the historic events surrounding Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the subsequent election of Pope Francis, and the particulars of the new Pope’s spirituality and thought.

Celebrate the election of Pope Francis and get to know the humble man of God "from the ends of the earth" in this groundbreaking photo journal from the Crossroad Publishing Company. Jorge Bergoglio, formerly archbishop of Argentina, loves the tango, was trained as a chemist, and had a girlfriend whom he planned to marry. His fascinating life story as well as the developments that led to his election come to life in this entertaining and informative account.


  • Full color photography on every page
  • Vivid storytelling and in-depth analysis from well-known Catholic journalists Stefan von Kempis of Vatican Radio and Philip F. Lawler, editor of Catholic World News
  • Insights from Pope Francis’s friends, family, and even his childhood sweetheart
  • Firsthand accounts of Vatican proceedings
  • Reflections by Pope Francis on the heart of our faith, and his relationship with Jesus
  • The daunting challenges that face the new Pope

 ‘A Call to Serve: Pope Francis and the Catholic Future’


Reviews and endorsements

"This is a brief but informative biographical introduction to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a vivid account of the events of his election and inauguration as Pope Francis, and a historical overview of the papacy in recent times. With many colored photographs the book captures the excitement and drama of the election of the pope as an event that touches the whole world—the worldwide religious community, the clergy and laity of the Catholic Church, the political realm, and the lives of ordinary people . .

In short, this book represents journalism at its best: factual, balanced, comprehensive, and succinct. It takes a close, detailed look at the background and life of the new pope, illuminates the excitement of a new chapter in the history of the Church, and reminds the whole world that the pope is Catholic—not liberal, conservative, centrist,  moderate, political, apolitical—but 'ever ancient, ever new' in St. Augustine’s words. As Pope Francis said in his opening days, the new century, like ancient times, would listen to Christian teaching because 'it responds to the deepest needs of human existence'—the same claim of the universal Church that has cared for the mind, body, and soul of all persons for the past two thousand years."
—Mitchell Kalpakgian, The Wanderer


Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church having been elected Bishop of Rome. He is thereby also the Sovereign of Vatican City. Born in Buenos Aires, as the son of Italian parents, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician before entering seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1969.  From 1973 to 1979 he was Argentina’s Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and a cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February 2013, on 13 March 2013 the papal conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. Throughout his life, both as an individual and a religious leader, Bergoglio has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths. He is known for having a simpler and less formal approach to the papacy, most notably by choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace formerly used by his predecessors. In addition, he is known for favoring simpler vestments voice of ornamentation, by starting to refuse the traditional papal mazetta cape upon his election. The collaborative work of Stefan von Kempis (Editor for Vatican Radio) and Philip F. Lawler (Editor  for Catholic World News), “A Call to Serve: Pope Francis and the Catholic Future”  is a 160 page compendium providing interested readers with a profusely illustrated and personal story of Pope Francis – and in that telling reveals background details of his unprecedented papal election. Drawn from conversations, interviews, insider information, and Pope Francis’ own writings, “A Call to Serve: Pope Francis and the Catholic Future” is very highly recommended reading for Catholics and non-Catholics alike!

Midwest Book Review, Wisconsin Bookwatch

"Want to know the inside story of the recent abdication by one Pope and the election of a startling new one—complete with colorful photos and analysis by the noted journalist Philip Lawler?  Well, here it is."
—Fr. C. J. McCloskey,
church historian and research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington DC

Paperback / 160 pages
Dimensions: 7 x 10