(03/13/13) - It's an exciting day for Catholics across the world - and here in Mid-Michigan - as a new pope is chosen.
At Nouvel Catholic Central, people were energized and excited. They feel blessed to be experiencing this together.
They tell us, when Pope Francis was chosen and they saw the white smoke, students ran up and down the halls with bells to celebrate.
This has given students a chance to learn about the conclave first hand. Since he was chosen, they've been praying for the new pope.
They say it was wonderful that the new pope was chosen while they were in school, and they could share this experience together.
Instructors at Nouvel say they're happy to see the church progress forward into this new chapter.
Parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Flint are keeping Pope Francis in their prayers.
Reverend Cecilio Reyna is excited about what's to come with this new leadership.
"When people first saw him publicly, he just stood there in silence, which was also significant, it's as though he was listening to them," Reyna said.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, of Argentina, is the first pope from the Americas and the first pontiff of Latino descent.
Father Jose Cabrera of the Diocese of Saginaw says this came as a big surprise.
"I was not expecting a Hispanic pope, but great joy, great joy to hear the news of the new elected pope Francis the First," Cabrera said.
And he's also the first pontiff to take on the name Francis. Reverend Reyna says this is a sign of his humility and love for humanity.
"Pope Francis, when he was in Argentina, was known to visit the hospital and pay particular attention to HIV patients, many of whom were dying," Reyna said. "For a pope to show that kind of concern and love to them is very important."
ABC12 Main Station