Playlist 4 Pontifex!

by | Mar 12, 2014 | Uncategorized

compact discs

How do you measure a year – especially when it’s the first year of a new pope who’s made waves the way Pope Francis has?

We asked for your help in creating a #Playlist4Pontifex, and boy, did you deliver! From all over the world, you gave us songs in different languages from almost as many genres as there are songs on the list: classical, rock, pop, Broadway – you name it, it’s here!

A few themes showed up again and again – themes like love and mercy and forgiveness – but we were definitely surprised by a few of the suggestions. Some were inspiring, and others were striking in their message. They all speak to the ways our friends and followers the world over have experienced this past year.

We’ve put this playlist together over on Spotify, but we also want you to know why each song made it on the playlist. So here it is, commemorating the first year of Pope Francis, our Playlist-4-Pontifex,1 with our heartfelt congratulations to Pope Francis, and gratitude for his example.

Ad multos annos, ad multa cantica!2

  1. Pope Francis

    neneo /

    For getting us to measure a year in Seasons of Love, from the musical Rent from Twitter user @kiki416

  1. For his phone calls, letters, etc. to those who wrote him asking for help, By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North from Twitter user @thatsnoternie

  1. Because the pope drives his own 20 year old Renault around the Vatican, Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys from Dexter and Kathie L. via email.

  1. For getting us to open our arms and care for the people of God, La Luz de Francisco by Argentine singer Palito Ortega from Twitter user @CarlosRomeroV (Not available via Spotify)3

  1. For acting out what he preaches, substantiating the spirit of his namesake Francis, Prayer of St. Francis from Twitter user @GlobalClement

  1. The prayer of a guy who’s got his work cut out for him, Kyrie by Mr. Mister from Twitter user Jay Hooks, SJ @JayHooks1

  1. Because he’s not one to judge, for his outreach, & for his short homilies, Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna from Twitter user  Vinny Marchioni, SJ @sj_vinny

  1. For reminding us that we share in building the Kingdom, Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective Experiment from Twitter user @ThomAugustine

  1. For saying “That kind of luxe just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz,” Royals by Lorde from Twitter user @megarina27

  1. For teaching us that with love, you can accomplish all things, All  You Need is Love by The Beatles from Facebook user John B.

  1. For his devotion to the Virgin Mary, Schubert’s Ave Maria, from Twitter user @dramaria

  1. Because he most definitely is here, he’s made his mark, he gave, he gives, he’s here for the poor, and for everybody, I Was Here by Beyonce from Facebook user Alison V.

  1. For reminding us that we are called to a missionary spirit, Alma Missionária by Brazilian singer Ziza Fernandes from Twitter user @M_Cristina_R

  1. For his preaching on mercy, Where is the Love by the Black Eyed Peas from Twitter user @RGC3

  1. Pope Francis among the faithful

    giulio napolitano /

    For calling us to turn and face the stranger, Changes by David Bowie from Twitter user Daniel Burke @BurkeCNN

  1. For reminding us to rely on God, Stand By Me by Ben E. King from Twitter user @leyes3

  1. Love Train by The O’Jays from Twitter user @Stephen_Ocean. Editors’ note: We figure the reason this was suggested was that he’s evangelizing the world with a message of love.

  1. Cosmogony by Bjork from Facebook user Hector P. Editors’ Note: We have no idea how this fits – it was one of the surprising offerings we mentioned up top – but we liked the song so we’re including it!

  1. For drawing our attention to real issues of social justice in the world, It’s Like That by Run DMC  from Facebook user Brooke T.

  1. Pontifex, Ordained from Twitter user @CraigVenancio. Editors’ Note: We think this is probably pretty self-explanatory, at least by the title!

  1. For getting us all to ask ourselves “Who am I to judge?” Bob Marley’s Judge Not from Twitter user @malawijay Jason Welle, SJ

  1. Because he’s an Argentine Jesuit, Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morricone from Twitter user @dramaria

  1. For encouraging the values of solidarity and generosity, Come puoi by Italian songwrite Maurizio Scicchitano from Twitter user @lyezsuita

  1. Because he reminds us that Jesus is a faithful friend, Emeli Sande, Next to Me from Twitter user @malawijay Jason  Welle, SJ

  1. Because he’s the Cold-Call Pope, 867-5309/Jenny by Tommy Tutone from Twitter user @herbie_miller

  1. Because Pope Francis’’s life and ministry preaches seeing God in everyone, I See God In You by India Arie from Twitter user @VivianDValencia

  1. For his emphasis on mercy, Mercy, Mercy Me, by Marvin Gaye from Twitter users @dearpopefrancis and @jonathanlace

  1. For helping us remember love and hope and mystery, Hymn of the Universe by Asha, from Twitter user @dearpopefrancis

  1. For doing the right thing, Ages and Ages’s great song Divisionary from Twitter user Paddy Gilger, SJ @paddygilgersj

  1. Pope Francis waving

    giulio napolitano /

    For reminding us that there’s something more “out there,” but more especially within us, Vite Parallele by Italian singer Franco Battiato from Twitter user @medicojunghiano

  1. For encouraging us not to give up on our faith, That’s the Way It Is by Celine Dion from Twitter user @kiki416

  1. For being willing to skate away on thin ice, Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day by Jethro Tull from Twitter user @kiki416

  1. For giving a priest a lift in the Popemobile, Joan Baez’s The Hitchhikers’ Song from Twitter user @pilsenjla

  1. For saying “let it go” to clericalism and non-sheep-smelling-stuff in the curia, Let It Go from Frozen, from Twitter user @jamesmithsonian. Editors’ Note: Okay, we thought this one might have been a bit of a stretch, but we like it so much how could we say no? Besides, we’re all hoping he works his “magic” in “rebuilding” the Church!

  1. For his emphasis on God’s mercy and our human dignity, You Are More by Tenth Avenue North @tenthavenorthfrom Twitter user @theologyguy

  1. Because the seeds of faith are already planted, I Dont Know How to Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar via Twitter user @Cryst_L_Ark

  1. Because I see God clearly in Pope Francis and he sees God in all too, I See God in You by @joshwilson via Twitter user @_verily_verily

  1. Because Pope Francis has reminded me how beautiful it is to have faith, Sólo le pido a Dios, by Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa from Atenea R. via email.

  1. For beginning a reform of the Roman Curia, Bob Dylan, The Times are a Changing: from Twitter user Mike Rogers, SJ @mrogerssj

  1. For telling us to get out of the church walls, This light is contagious, go, go tell ur neighbors, Wonder by Emeli Sande ft. Naughty Boy from Twitter user Eric Sundrup, SJ @sunnydsj

  1. For making the cover of Rolling Stone, The Temptations, Papa Was a Rolling Stonefrom Twitter user Brendan Busse, SJ @bugideas

  1. For urging us to steer clear of gossip, Rumors by Timex Social Club  via @TheJesuitPost

  1. Because he was the first pope from Latin America, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from Evita from Twitter user Jason Welle, SJ @malawijay

  1. For all his emphasis on JOY in the Christian life, Happy by Pharrell Williamsfrom Twitter user Nate Romano, SJ @nromanosj and Facebook user Brigit C.

  1. Because it’s time to begin the work! It’s Time by Imagine Dragons from Facebook user Cathy H.

— — — — —
Editors Note:  Song #38 was originally credited to “Chilean singer Mercedes Sosa.” Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009) was an Argentine singer.  We’ve edited the playlist to show that she is from Argentina.  Thanks to readers @dramaria & @petrocw for catching the mistake from the original message.


  1. In a few instances, the exact version suggested to us wasn’t available on Spotify. Copyright and all that. In those cases we made substitutions to keep the song on our playlist.
  2. For many years, for many songs! At least, we hope so. Let’s just say it’s a good thing we don’t have to write TJP in Latin!
  3. For the Spotify playlist, we’ve substituted Todo Cambia by Mercedes Sosa

Jason Welle   /   @malawijay   /   All posts by Jason