The annoucement that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, from Argentina, has been selected as the new pope has resonated throughout the world. He will be the first non-European pope from the Americas.
According to his biography on the Vatican's website, he was ordained with the Jesuits in 1969 and began his career as a novice master in San Miguel where he taught theology. In 1992 he was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires; was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino in 1998; served as Adjunct Relator General of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2001; and President of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina from 2005-2011.
Locally, members of parishes from both Larchmont and Mamaroneck were trying to piece together information about the new pope, who is relatively unknown to the general public.
"I really don't know much except what I'm seeing on T.V.," said Father Robert Henry of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Mamaroneck. "I think it's wonderful that we have a new holy father."
Rev. Msgr. Thomas R. Kelly of St. Augustine's Church in Larchmont echoed Father Henry's remarks.
"I believe his selection is a surprise, There are two firsts in terms of the Catholic culture and background," he said, referring to the fact that the new pope is a Jesuit and has chosen the name Francis I.
"The choosing of his name means he is particularly conscious to the needs and rights of the poor."
However, said Rev. Kelly, he hoped that the new pope would continue to strengthen the Catholic faith.
"He personifies what faith in Christ is and what the Catholic Church is truely about."
Father Henry said he hopes that his faith, "may grow stronger and throughout the world."
Peter Schultz, principal of Sts. John and Paul School, said that the new pope would be an example to all, particularly given his committment to others.
"We at Sts. John and Paul School are very excited with the election of this pope and we will pray for him as he leads the Roman Catholic Church forward," he said.