West Texans React to News of Newly Elected Pope Francis I - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

West Texans React to News of Newly Elected Pope Francis I

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It's a very exciting day for Catholics around the world.

All eyes were on Vatican City as people everywhere waited for the new pope to be announced.

Catholics here in West Texas said the announcement wasn't just exciting but surprising as well.

Catholics across the Basin are celebrating the election of their new leader, Pope Francis I.

"It's wonderful news that we have a pope now," Aurora Vigil, a parishioner at St. Mary's, said. 

"We were all excited here in the office and we were all just watching and waiting 'til those curtains opened," a parishioner at St. Joseph's said.

It took cardinals less than two days to pick Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope of the Catholic church.

"I'm very happy," Fr. Mark Woodruff, of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, said. "This man looks interesting. I'm looking forward to learning more about him because I didn't really know who he was until he was elected pope."

Fr. Woodruff said the announcement was unexpected.

Francis is the first pontiff to be elected from the Americas.

"It's a very dramatic shift of the church from western Europe to South America," Fr. Woodruff said. "It's a whole different hemisphere. They were talking about a Filipino pope or a pope from Mexico or Central America so I'm very surprised."

Others are anxious to see what's in store for the church.

"I think that we will all benefit," Vigil said. "I've heard a lot of good things from that country and I'm sure he has a lot of experience."

Fr. Woodruff said he's looking forward to Francis' papacy also as the first Jesuit pope and he has high hopes for the future.

"I'm very excited because it's so new maybe he's really going to be thinking outside the box," he said. "It's pretty exciting you know, a very traditional church, it's amazing that they can do something non-traditional."

Powered by Frankly