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Local priests celebrate election of new pope
Leading up to the selection of the next Pope, Catholics around the world were left wondering. Would it be another Italian or would we see our first American Pope?
On Wednesday, News 5's Colin Murphy went to a CCD class at St. Cecilia in Hastings where the final selection caught many local Catholics off guard.
It's a name that left thousands conducting a Google search.
"I had never heard of the guy so when I went home and went on the internet and started studying him," said Fr. Joseph Walsh.
"We call him the Pope because it comes from that name Papa - Father - and I don't know who my dad is," Fr. Matt Rolling said.
The selection of Cardinal Mario Bergoglio prompted Father Joseph Walsh of St. Cecilia to change his curriculum for Wednesday night's CCD class.
"We brought up another song called "Come Holy Ghost" because that is what the Church was doing leading up to the election of the Holy Father was praying to the Holy Spirit," said Fr. Walsh.
But, Pope Francis has arrived.
Local Catholics are now starting to learn more about the Holy Father.
He's the first South American pope ever chosen which Father Walsh sees as a sign for the future.
"Part of that awareness of the Christian identity," said Fr. Walsh.
Some Catholics had envisioned a younger Pope. But, Francis is 76 years old raising the question if a man of his age was the right choice.
"The College of Cardinals is - they are not very young and that is a good thing. They need to have that experience and that wisdom. It isn't so much the energy of his life but the energy of his skills," Fr. Rolling said.
Old or young, priests at St. Cecilia know their new leader has the right qualities to lead them through scandal that hovers over the Catholic Church.
"HIs fellow Jesuits speak of him as a man of people and a man of simplicity, etc.," said Fr. Rolling.
The students and priests also learned about the simple life that Pope Francis has lived. He used public transportation and cooks his own meals.
Those are very rare acts for Cardinals.
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