APPLETON - Area Catholics gathered around televisions to watch the ceremony unfold. Whether in Appleton or downtown Green Bay, Catholics had a lot to say about Pope Francis.
For most of the Xavier High School students, watching the election of a new pope is a new experience. Something they've been learning about in religion class for weeks.
"A lot of suspense: the curtains were moving, the lights were turned on, you never knew when he was going to come out," said sophomore Joe Larsen.
And when Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis emerged on the balcony it was a surprise, since he is the first pope from Latin America.
"I take Spanish class, so I could say the 'Gloria' with him, that was pretty cool,' said Larsen.
In Green Bay, St. Willebrord Church has a large Hispanic congregation. In fact, about 9 percent of Green Bay Diocese's parishioners are Hispanic. Leaders at St. Willebrord told FOX 11 having a pope from Latin America is especially meaningful.
"Very much for the poor and for social justice and that's an issue that we have here a lot of times with our immigrants here, so I think that's going to be important," said Rita Bauldry, the director of religious education at St. Willebrord.
Which the Xavier students appreciate.
"He told his people in Argentina not to come out (to Rome), to give their money to the poor instead. That's pretty neat," said Larsen.
Something else about the new pope that had the students excited is his choice of name.
"A lot of the students here are really excited that he chose 'Francis,' because we're St. Francis Xavier," said junior Mara Obermeier.
However, the pope took his name from St. Francis of Assisi.
But more importantly religion teacher Elisa Tremblay told us all young Catholics will likely have a lot to look up to in the church's new leader. She explained that his first words as pope say it all.
"The fact that he knelt down and prayed and showed us his holiness right away, I think is going to be a huge example for all of us," said Tremblay.
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