BOISE -- Catholics around Idaho gathered around televisions and computers today to watch the announcement of the first Latin American pope.
At St. John Cathedral, people gathered to watch the announcement of Pope Francis. They cheered once they heard the new pope is from Argentina.
Father Henry Carmona tells KTVB this outside perspective will be a good change for the church. He said watching the announcement even thousands of miles away is a very special opportunity for all Catholics.
"It gives us the sense that God is always watching us. That he is not leaving us orphans, and that he provides for us the leader that we need in the Catholic church," said Father Henry Carmona.
Carmona says his favorite moment was when the newly-elected pope asked the crowd to silently pray for him.
"I think that is a sign of someone who wants to run the church with the help of the people and their prayers," Carmona said. "We always pray for the Pope, but this Pope from the beginning, he said, 'I depend on you, on your prayers to do my work.' Very humble. Very impressive."
At St. Mary's Catholic Church in Boise, many Hispanic parishioners were excited about getting a new leader of the church. Some parishioners say it's exciting to have someone from the Americas as the new pope.
"I felt triple joy because I learned we have a new pope, that's the first joy," Hernan Gutierrez said. "Second joy, he's a Jesuit which has some important relevance to me because I was studying at a Jesuit university, and third, that he was Hispanic. He was from Argentina, so I would be able to read his writings in Spanish now."
Father José de Jésus Camacho found out the new pope would be announced while looking around on Facebook. He immediately posted a message of excitement. He says having a pope from Latin America is a sign of the times, that Catholicism is spreading from Europe to the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
"Now the perspective is from someone from the new continent. For me, it means a lot. It means a lot. So it's a kind of fresh view of humankind. It's a new contribution by this sector of the Catholic Church," Camacho said. "It's time for the new wave in the Catholic Church. It could be Africa, it could be Latin America. It happened to be Latin America. It is a new wave."
Following today's announcement, Bishop Michael P. Driscoll of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise issued this statement:
"As with other Catholics around the world, I am pleased to offer my support and prayers for our new pope, Pope Francis. I have never personally met him, but it is clear he has the prayerful and spiritual gifts to lead the Catholic Church in the world today. I am grateful that the College of Cardinals gathered in Conclave listened to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I am confident Pope Francis will work to guide the church through the new evangelization and make us stronger witnesses to christ to the world. I ask all Catholics in idaho to pray for our new leader as "the servant of the servants of god" and successor to St. Peter."