Catholics held a special mass in Manchester Wednesday night to celebrate the selection of the new pope.
Parishioners gathered on short notice at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Wednesday night to commemorate the anointing of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I.
Bishop Peter Labasci was on hand to lead the mass. He asked those in attendance to welcome the new pope and to pray for his success in leading the church.
Labasci said the selection of the Argentine came as a surprise to him:
“It was really quite exciting because we did not have any idea who it would be, with all of the speculation, you know. And then when they announced the name ‘Bergolgio. Well now which one was that?’”
Labasci says the selection of the name Francis indicates the new pope’s desire to rebuild the Church, and that his Jesuit background will aid him in connecting with the poor.