Catholics around Northeast Wisconsin were watching as Pope Francis was introduced.
In fact, a large group of Xavier High School students and a few staff members gathered in the commons area to watch history unfold this afternoon. The group actually broke out into applause when Pope Francis emerged, appearing on the balcony overlooking St. Peters Square.
"It was amazing just seeing him," says Xavier senior Kaity Sagan. "You could even see he was like, that's a lot of people and I'm kind of scared. But yet, he had a grace about him. It was amazing."
Amazing, according to those watching, was also the selection of the former Archbishop of Buenos Aries, Argentina to the top spot in the Catholic Church. The first pontiff from Latin America, he was not a man that necessarily appeared on anyone's short list of candidates.
Elisa Tremblay, a religious studies teacher at Xavier says, "I did not expect that and I thought that I was following the list of the top contenders pretty closely and never did I see his name on that list that I was looking at so this is a huge surprise for me."
Pope Francis compassion for the commoner didn't go unnoticed either.
"Not only did he bless us, but he asked us to pray for him," noted senior Luke Reinke. "It shows that he's not really above us, he's still human like us."
And the fact Pope Francis is a Jesuit also endeared him to local Catholics.
Xavier Principal Matt Reynebeau says, "I like the fact that he picked Francis because we're named after St. Francis Xavier so the Jesuit connection is kind of neat for us here at Xavier."
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