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(NECN: Kristen Carosa) - Roman Catholics across the globe have been watching and praying for Pope Francis on his first day in the new role, including many Catholics in central Massachusetts.
Worcester Bishop Robert McManus led a special mass Thursday at Cathedral of Saint Paul.
“His gentleness of heart and spirit, his graciousness to the poor, his priority to those in need, I think this is a tremendous choice for the church,” says St. Paul’s parishioner Cindy Trainque.
Catholics from around the world are embracing Pope Francis as he begins his new role. Parishioners gathered at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester, Mass. Thursday to celebrate their new spiritual father.
“I love the immediacy of it, because that is the normal reaction to this tremendous news to offer a thank you to God,” says Trainque.
On the occasion of having the new pope named, Worcester Bishop McManus presided over the noon mass.
“When we receive a gift, we say thank you, so we had this mass of celebration of thanksgiving to praise God for giving us Pope Francis at this moment, the shepherd for the Catholic Church.”
Bishop McManus says it was a special moment to watch as Pope Francis spoke for the first time. He says he was impressed when he bowed his head and asked those gathered to pray for him.
“That is the role of every bishop, is to gather his people and point the people away from him to God who is our father.”
Bishop McManus says Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, is an advocate for the poor and a humble leader. He says being from Latin America, he will help to draw people to the church
“Forty-two-percent of Roman Catholics in Latin America, that is astounding and now they have given one of their own to the church as it's leader.”
“I think that he will do the church a tremendous amount of good,” says Trainque.