Cardinals in the Conclave

This is an exciting time for the Church!

Beginning this Tuesday, March 12, the conclave will begin and a new pope will ultimately be elected.

This week I wanted to share some resources that are helpful when learning about this important process of electing the new Vicar of Christ.

First, I recommend the site:

This site makes it very easy to spiritually adopt a cardinal, so you and your children can keep one of the voting cardinals in prayer throughout the conclave. The site will randomly assign one of the cardinals to you and give you a little information about the cardinal. For example, we were assigned Polycarp Cardinal Pengo from Dar-es–Salaam, Tanzania.


During the conclave, our family will be praying for Polycarp Cardinal Pengo

This is a great opportunity for you and your children to do a bit of research on the cardinal for whom you will be praying. In our case, after learning about Cardinal Pengo, we made up a sheet of facts and pictures representing this Prince of the Church. Some of the facts you might want to include are:

  • When he was born
  • How old he is
  • When he was ordained
  • When he became a cardinal
  • What his motto is
  • Any other pertinent information

Once you complete your sheet of facts and pictures, you can put this in a visible place to remember to pray for him throughout the conclave. Our sheet is posted in the dining room so we remember to pray for Cardinal Pengo at meal times, asking the Holy Spirit to guide him in following the will of God in electing the next pope.

Writer and blogger Elizabeth Foss has also identified some excellent resources for all ages that I wanted to highlight:

May God bless the Roman Catholic Church as this process begins, and may His will be done in the selection of our next Holy Father.

“Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” –Matthew 16:18


  1. Cool. Nice job Margaret. Polycarp is my patron…23 Feb.

  2. This is such a great post! I was just signing each child up for a Cardinal last night… We’ll be using all of your post and some of Elizabeth’s! I JUST got my copy of”We have a Pope” in the mail! These next couple of weeks will be so exciting! Love that we homeschool and can really dive in to current events and celebrate with the Church!

  3. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

  4. Patrick Bereit says:

    Thank you for helping me learn about the conclave.

  5. Great ideas, Margaret! All of my kids have a different cardinal they are praying for. I can’t believe we’ll probably have a new Pope by next Sunday! Another lovely resource for a lovely Papal Unit Study and Lapbook is here on Shower of Roses:

  6. Christine says:

    I love the fact and picture sheet for your adopted cardinal. It makes it come to life that much more.

  7. Just saw that I missed this pope seeing as how our cardinals were so quick to pick a pope, & I have to say I couldn’t be any more excited about Pope Francis I!!! The Holy Spirit was working overtime. However, I’m so glad that I did find it as I’m taking next Sunday to talk about the conclave & structure of the Church with my CCD class. Any other great resources would be wonderful as this is a learning process for me as well. I’ve never stopped & really researched how it is all set up & what is the difference between a bishop or a cardinal. I have a general idea, but want to be able to explain it better to my family (all non-Catholics) & my children as well as my CCD class!! Love & miss you all!!!

Speak Your Mind