C.O. Catholics react to news of Pope Francis

St. Francis Church has vicar from his native Argentina

Central Oregon reacts to news of new Pope

BEND, Ore. - It took a day and a half for 115 cardinals to choose a new leader of the Catholic Church. To the cheers of hundreds of thousands, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina appeared, ready to lead the church.

The newly chosen pope selected Francis as his new name. As he greeted the throng gathered St. Peters Square, he told them to pray for him, and for the retired Pope Benedict.

In downtown Bend, for Catholics gathered at the noon Mass at the old St. Francis Church. Wednesday was not only a special day for Catholics around the world, but for the Rev. Juan Carlos, the church's parochial victor -- he's also from Argentina.

"First, I was very happy, because we have a new pope," Carlos said.

The priest, who arrived in August, rejoiced when he heard the news. He says the new pope is the right fit for the job.

"He knows the culture and the problems," Carlos said.

During Wednesday's service, parishioners prayed for the Holy Father. Many say they are happy with who was chosen.

"We prayed very hard for our new pope," one woman said. "We feel very blessed to have someone elected so quickly."

"I think it's a good thing," another man said. "I'm very excited for what it could bring for the church and for the people."

For the 1.2 billion Catholics across the world, they now wait to see where Pope Francis I will lead them.

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