Austin Catholics react to new pope - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Austin Catholics react to new pope


AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- At St. Augustine in Austin parishioners met for their regular Wednesday mass excited to celebrate the news of the new pope.

Many parishioners readily admitted that because the news was still fresh they didn't know much about the new pope, but they were excited about the decision and filled with hope for his papacy.

"You know it kind of leaves us with a feeling of limbo not to have our leader, our worldwide leader in place," Sheri Willrodt who attends the church.

That feeling of limbo did not last for long, as news of the new pope spread, so did the excitement and surprise that the decision was made so soon -- five votes by the conclave in two days.

"And in a way that's comforting to be because that probably means there was a candidate that quickly rose to the top and was a logical choice for the cardinals," Wildrodt said.

But for many he was a surprise, and while some parishioners spent part of the day reading up on Pope Francis and his history, Father Jim Steffes says some of the most important and revealing clues came just today.

"I think with his name, with Francis, he is telling us a lot of how he is going to lead in his papacy with great simplicity and humility with a prayerful spirit and also like St. Francis, I think he knows the lord is asking him to rebuild his church, " Steffes said.

So now the parishioners look to the future with hope for what his papacy holds.

"I think he can never be too outspoken in talking about the faith and being a proponent about the catholic faith," said Brian Lillis who attends the church.

"Our church needs to work on faith formation for all of our people," Wildrodt said.

"The church needs someone who is open to god and finds his lead from the lord," Steffes said.

Pope Francis has taken the name of two Roman Catholic saints both of them missionaries.
The Argentine pontiff is the first to adopt the name "Francis," paying tribute to the rich young Italian from Assisi who renounced wealth and dedicated his life to rebuilding the church. 
It's interesting to note, that he will be called pope Francis without the numeral-one as a suffix until their is a second Pope Francis. 


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