Local Catholics Celebrate, Pray After Election Of Pope Francis

Local Catholics Celebrate, Pray After Election Of Pope Francis

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Pope Francis waves to a crowd of thousands below at St. Peter's Square Wednesday. Pope Francis waves to a crowd of thousands below at St. Peter's Square Wednesday.
Then Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is seen praying in this file photo. Then Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is seen praying in this file photo.
PHILADELPHIA -

"Mommy!!! It's Bergoglio!!" screamed Maria Travajlio through her smartphone to her mother in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tears of joy came streaming down Travajlio's face after hearing the news that a fellow countryman, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope.

"Historic you know, oh my God, an Argentinian pope!! That's huge for us," she said.

Travajlio moved to Philadelphia from Buenos Aires eight years ago to be with her husband. She soon got a job with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's office of Social Services.

She was among dozens of employees huddled in a conference room inside the Archdiocese headquarters in Center City, watching the papal developments on their smartphones.

"It was high time for a South American pope" she said.

Travajlio says Pope Francis, known to reject many of the trappings and privileges of being a Cardinal, will be a champion of the poor.

"Paying a lot of attention to the social part, the people's lives. Always asking the governments to pay more attention to poverty," she added.

After the new Pope was announced, local Catholics converged on the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to pray. Some are wondering if the new pope's first trip to the United States will be in Philadelphia for the International Meeting of Families hosted by the Vatican in 2015.

"We sure hope so. Pope Benedict said he was coming for the year of the Family. We just hope this Pope keeps the same calendar," says Monsignor Arthur Rodgers, Rector at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The last time Philadelphia received a papal visit was back in 1979, when Pope John Paul held mass in front of a million people along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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