Local Catholics Celebrate New Pope
The selection of a new Pope gave local Catholics a reason to celebrate. To many of them, the first Latin American pontiff symbolizes hope.
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Hearing from their new Pope for the first time was a meaningful moment for staff at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
"I'm just really hopeful. I'm just really filled with a lot of hope. I feel really positive," said Marianne Himmelsbach, Sacred Heart Cathedral Faith Formation Coordinator.
Marianne and her colleagues watched live from their desk as Jorge Mario Bergoglio addressed the world as Pope.
"I was hearing him talk and I think he was saying we should be all one brotherhood together, so I think he is going to unite a lot of people," said Himmelsbach.
Himmelsbach says she didn't know much about the former Argentine Cardinal, but she's ready to welcome him with open arms.
For Dan Messina, the selection of Pope Francis is what the Roman Catholic Church needs.
"To me, it means there's possibly a chance for some leadership to be shown and some necessary reform and changes that the church needs to do to become the true church of Jesus," said Messina, of Rochester.
Some of the priest at Sacred Heart call the selection of a non-European pontiff surprising.
"Many people were hoping for an American from the United States. We're getting pretty close if we're down in South America so there's always hope," said Father Kevin McKenna, Sacred Heart Cathedral Pastor.
To some here, the Pope is an answered prayer that is celebrated with a white and gold flag that's draped outside church doors. It signifies a new leader for the Catholic Church, and for some a new-day.
"The church today is torn between various forces, conservative, moderate and the liberals and somehow there is division in the church, so this Pope can bridge those division and bring a sense of unity," said Father Pius Pathmarajh, Sacred Heart Parochial Vicar.