'I got goosebumps': Tucson faithful learn of the new Pope
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some Tucson Catholics heard the news as they gathered for noon mass.
The bells of Saint Augustine's Cathedral are a call to worship that spreads through downtown Tucson but inside, the congregation's thoughts reached across the world, to a square in Vatican City.
As Monsignor Al Schifano began the service he said, "What a glorious day for these words to be shouted out: "Habemus Papem. We have a Pope."
But as they continued the Mass who the Pope is was still a mystery...until about 20 minutes into the service, when they heard the name Pope Francis the First, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina and burst into applause.
Congregation member Bertha Esparza says, "I got goosebumps with the reality of it all."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "Why do you think that is? Why did that feeling come over you like that?"
Bertha Esparza: "Well, I think of two thousand years back and he is standing in the place of two thousand years ago, St. Peter handed the keys to the Church. Here we are. He got handed the keys, right?"
Craig Smith asked Oscar Mariscal: "What would you most hope that he'd achieve?"
Mariscal said, "Well, to straighten out this stuff that's been going on, you know? With all these accusations, they've been saying about the molestation of these kids, you know. I mean, they're supposed to be, I guess, people of God. I don't know, maybe we should be married. Maybe it would stop some of this stuff."
Sex scandals, marriage for priests, those issues he raised are a sample of some of the challenges for the new Pope. But for now there's a spirit of celebration and a question of what the new pope will do
One of the people at Saint Augustine's for the noon mass has met the new Pontiff.
Sister Gladys Echenique is from Argentina. She says of learning the man she met is now Pope: "It just something like wow. I cannot even imagine how the people in Argentina are feeling at this time."
Sister Gladys says, " I met him three times. He's the Cardinal of Argentina. When he celebrated the mass one time many years ago I had, I shaked his hand, but I met him three times. As a religious sister you go to religious gatherings so that's what I did."
Sister Gladys did not have much chance to learn the new Pope's philosophy but hopes as the first Pope from Latin America, he'll devote special care to North, Central and South America.
Monsignor Raul Trevizo thinks a Latin American Pope will inspire the Spanish speaking Catholics who are the biggest group in the Catholic Church.
"I had kind of accepted that I would never live to see that; believing that the Holy Spirit had other plans. But my desires and my enthusiasms are one thing, what God wants and the Holy Spirit is going to decide is a completely different thing."
Monsignor Al Schifano says, "I happened to be watching television live when the white smoke came out and what surprised me was, I didn't expect to cry and I did."
Monsignor Schifano says he was moved by the idea that he was seeing the hand of God move the Cardinals to choose a Pope. Now he hopes that name Francis will live up to Saint Francis of Assisi who was driven to work for the poor.
Sister Gladys has some of the same hopes: "I'm just very surprised and very proud and very hopeful that he's going to take the church in a different, in a sense that in a good direction talking about the poverty in our world."
It was a real emotional moment to learn about the new Pope for everyone we talked to here, including members of the congregation. Some said they were touched when the man who supposed to look out for their spiritual welfare asked for people to pray for him.