POSTED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Bells rang out across Baton Rouge as the world welcomed in a new pope, an exciting new start for Catholics here in the capital city.
"It’s exciting and refreshing and I think it brings our faith out to the people of the world," Tara Elliott explained.
"I am excited. Very excited. Society is changing and we just need someone who is going to accept how society is changing and the catholic religion is changing," said Trisha Rawlinson.
The anticipation wasn't contained to congregations. Priests across the area anxiously awaited the papal appointment, and they agree it's a good one.
“The first thing I can think of is, he speaks Spanish. And of course more Catholics in the world speak Spanish than any other language. It's my understanding he loves to mingle with the poor, work in soup kitchens, visit the sick and needy, like any priest does. He’s not a high and mighty guy," Father Paul Counce or St. Joseph Cathedral said.
"This is a wonderful selection for the worldwide aspect of the catholic church. and for the Spanish speaking throughout the world because it's another sign and aspect that the word catholic means universal," Bishop Robert Muench added.
Though both clergymen say it's too soon to tell which direction Pope Francis I will take the church, they do know he's got a big job to do.
"I join with you and with others in praying for him because his responsibility is very awesome and daunting," the Bishop said.
The pope plans to spend his first full day as pontiff praying and visiting different parts of Rome.