The evening announcement of Buenos Aires Archbishop Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope in Vatican City is resonating with Catholics here in the Pleasantville and Briarcliff Manor area.
The new Pope Francis, age 76, is the first Latin American and Jesuit Pope, according to ABC News.
"White Smoke. God bless the Roman Catholic Church and God bless Pope Francis," All Saints' Episcopal Church in Briarcliff Manor wrote on Facebook as the news broke.
Father John McLaughlin of Briarcliff Manor's Parish of St. Theresa said he was "delighted."
He added that he was "very, very moved," by the new pope's speaking to the public after his selection.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D — NY) recognized the news via Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
"Overjoyed for Catholics everywhere and hopeful that Pope Francis will help foster peace and spirituality across the globe," he wrote.
Pope Francis I greeted the crowd in Saint Peter's Square and led the "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" prayers and gave a blessing.
The choice of name had significance for Sam Stanton, executive director of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners.
"The fact that he chose Francis suggests that he might help us as a church reflect on a simple lifestyle in this global culture," Stanton said.
Bergoglio, the son of an Italian railway worker, was born Dec. 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, he was ordained for the Jesuits on Dec. 13, 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel, according to the Vatican’s website.
"I think it's great," said Briarcliff Manor resident John Lombardi of the appointment.
Sister Lorelle Elcock, Prioress of the which like Maryknoll is headquartered in Ossining, said the sisters have great hopes that Pope Francis I will bring a new vitality to the church.
"We are very moved at the selection of a pope from South America who is a member of a religious order and who has exhibited sensitivity for the poor," she said.
Monsignor Hilary C. Franco of St. Augustine Church in Ossining, who previously spent 26 years at the Vatican, said he was thrilled with the cardinals' decision.
"I am very excited," he told Patch. "This man is really the man for the church and the world at this particular time."