by James Swierzbin
The election of Pope Francis has special meaning for Father Jaime Garcia and the bulk of his parishioners at Saint Charles Borromeo church in Providence, because for the first time, they have a pope who is from Latin America.
"He is from our culture. He understands how we celebrate our faith. So I'm very happy, that we have a new pope, from Latin America." said Father Garcia.
Father Garcia and other Latin American Catholics aren't the only ones greeting Pope Francis's election with prayers of support.
Parishioners celebrated a noon mass, at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, in honor of the new pope, and it was clear that even those without a connection to Latin America, are excited to see a pontiff come from somewhere other than Europe.
great to have a Holy Father from America and Spanish speaking, so that
he can help encourage us to reach out to the Spanish speaking community." said Ed Trendowski from Mattapoisett, Mass.
Bob Donohue from Warwick agrees that Pope Francis being from Latin America is a good thing.
"It's about time that they had a Hispanic pope, 40-percent of the world's Catholics are Hispanic speaking and I think it's good." said Donohue.
Parishioner Peter Rojcewicz is also excited to see the new pope come from the New World.
"I think I'm very optimistic about it. I think there's a lot of dancing in the streets of Latin America. What a great gift to them and the whole world really."