Area Catholics Welcome New Pope

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SCRANTON -- At Saint Ann`s Basilica in Scranton's west side, members of the faithful take part in the daily evening mass service Wednesday night.

For these Catholics, this is a time for celebration as the new pope was selected in Rome.

“Very happy that they finally picked a new pope and I know that he's going to do a very good job and it's just exciting, very exciting,” said Nancy Mattizks of Scranton.

Cardinals selected Pope Francis after a short conclave.

With him come precedents for the Catholic Church; the pope is the first Latino, hailing from Argentina and he is the first Jesuit having taken his order from the Society of Jesus.

Bishop Joseph Bambera, the leader of the Diocese of Scranton, says it`s Pope Francis` humble ways that will make his mark.

“HE told the crowd that before he was going to bless them, he asked them to bless him and it looked to me that he knelt down at that railing overlooking Saint Peter's Square,” said Bishop Bambera.

Here at the University of Scranton, an institution founded and run by Jesuits, Jesuit priest Father Michael Bellafiore agrees that Pope Francis has lived a life of humility, in keeping with the Jesuits' beliefs.

“'He`s a tremendous man of prayer, a great preacher of the gospel and someone who is very close to the poor,” said Fr. Bellafiore. “As you might know he actually lives in an apartment and takes public transportation to his work.”

“The kind of life that he lived and that he did pick Francis for his name thinking that it was after Saint Francis of Assisi, yes I think he's going to do a very good job,” said Mattizks.