How Pope Francis awakened the faith of a CNN anchor



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ABSTRACTHow Pope Francis affects one CNN anchor - CNN.com Breaking News U.S. Edition U.S. International Arabic Español Set edition preference Confirm Sign in MyCNN Watch Live TV News U.S. World Politics Tech Health Entertainment Living Travel Money Sports Watch Live TV Video CNNgo Latest News Must Watch Videos Digital Studios Watch Live TV TV CNNgo Schedule CNN Films Shows A-Z Faces of CNN Worldwide Watch Live TV Opinions Political Op-Eds Social Commentary iReport Watch Live TV More… Photos Longform Investigations CNN profiles A-Z CNN Leadership Somebody's Gotta Do It The Wonder List City of Tomorrow High Profits The Guns Project Digital Shorts Change the List CNN Heroes Impact Your World Watch Live TV Quick Links Photos Longform Investigations CNN profiles A-Z CNN Leadership How Pope Francis awakened the faith of a CNN anchor By Carol Costello , Anchor Updated 6:42 PM ET, Fri April 10, 2015 Just Watched Pope Francis prays for peace at Easter mass replay More Videos ... Pope Francis prays for peace at Easter mass 01:45 Story highlights There is something about Pope Francis that's reawakened her faith, say CNN's Carol Costello. Meeting Cardinal LaCroix of Quebec showed how the Pope is putting people in place to carry out his new vision of the church, Costello writes. Carol Costello is an award-winning journalist and an anchor of "CNN Newsroom." The opinions in this column belong to her. (CNN) I remember the day I stopped praying. It was the day after my little brother, Jimmy, died of cancer. He was 25. I was so angry at God. I was 27 at the time, and, like most young people I had stopped going to church. But, on that day -- that terrible day -- I desperately needed to understand why God took my brother. I called the nearest Catholic church, looking for a priest. A lady picked up the phone. "Can I talk with Father?" I asked. I wish I could say her answer was "yes." Instead, she asked me if I was a member of that particular parish. "Does it matter?" I asked. (At the time I lived far from my home parish.) I don't remember how she responded, but the answer about my being able to see Father was clearly no. I don't know if all Catholic churches would have shut me out, but I figured, at the time, it was part of the long list of rules the Vatican required Catholic leaders to follow. I cried for a bit, then decided I would never ask God for anything. Clearly, his conduits on Earth did not have time for me -- a lifelong Catholic -- and sinner -- so why would he? Ever since, I've considered myself a lapsed Catholic. Until Pope Francis. There is something about Francis that's reawakened my faith. And it's not because he opened the floodgates to allow sin in the eyes of the church. He still argues against things I passionately support, but I find myself -- like many other lapsed Catholics -- enthralled. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting one of the Pope's newly appointed cardinals. His name is Cardinal Gerald LaCroix. The 57-year-old presides at the Basilica Cathedral of Notre Dame in Quebec City. One of my first questions: What is it about Pope Francis? "Every person is a mystery you know. ... But what's evident is this man is living with such freedom, such inner freedom. He's himself. He's in tune with the Lord," LaCroix told me. "Those close to him say he's up close to 4 in the morning to prepare his daily Mass, which is at 7 in the morning on the weekdays. So that's almost three hours of prayer, preparation and silence before the Lord and the word of God. Wow, that really fine-tunes you to start off a day." Perhaps that's how the Pope stays humble. Why he defies tradition and washes the feet of the disabled, women and those of other faiths. Why he ordered showers to be built for the poor in St. Peter's Square. All of this is appealing, but it's more than that. In my mind, it's his tone. When Pope Francis said, "If a person is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" The comment took me aback. Homosexuality has long been a taboo subject for the Vatican, yet Pope Francis uttered those welcoming words. LaCroix likened the Pope's approach to Jesus. "Jesus didn't judge. Jesus did not come as a judge. He came as .......