North Country Catholics Welcome New Pope
When Pope Francis I was introduced as the new leader of the Catholic Church, a group of Catholics from the North Country was there to see it.
But just barely.
"We just grabbed some people from the hotel," said the Rev. Don Robinson.
"We got into a taxi and we just dashed to the St. Peter's Square along with the hundreds of thousands of other people," he said.
It was a pre-planned trip for Robinson and others to tour Italy and see sites like Vatican City.
But as it turns out, luck was on their side when it came to witnessing history in person.
"The atmosphere and just having our eyes focused on the window waiting for it to open," Kim Oliver said.
When the window opened, Pope Francis stepped out, bringing with him a long history of helping people in need.
And that excites local church leaders.
"He's what a Pope is supposed to be," said Monsignor Paul Whitmore of Holy Family Church, "the Vicar of Christ, the representative of Christ."
For the parishioners worldwide -- the people in the pews every Sunday -- Whitmore says the election of Pope Francis could be a breath of fresh air."
"(It's) really going to bring the Church a sense of good order, of faithfulness to the Gospel," he said.
Judging by the crowd in St. Peter's Square, it's a sentiment echoed around the world.
"It's a worldwide event," Robinson said. "To think we have a new Holy Father and you can just tell from listening to the many languages of the people around us."
Those people will head home soon -- some back to the north country -- and Pope Francis will get to work leading the Church.
Friday, October 31, 2014, Watertown, NY
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