Wichita kids cheer papal election
For a few thousand youngsters in Wichita, the timing could not have been better for the announcement that a new pope had been chosen.
The kids were gathered at Hartman Arena for a special mass and celebration in honor of the 125th anniversary of Catholic schools in Wichita. The kids could see the announcement from Rome on a large screen in the arena.
"I think I'm excited because he's from Latin America," said Judy Diana Chavira, a junior at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School. "My parents are from Mexico. That's really exciting."
Bishop Michael Jackels (pictured) said the kids chanted "Francesco! Francesco!" along with the thousands gathered at St. Peter's Square, though he doubted many of the kids knew what they were saying. He used the public address system to inform the kids that the pope's name is Francis, the English form of Francesco.
Bishop Jackels said the Pope's choice of name is significant.
"To follow in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, who received the call, the mission from Jesus to rebuild the Church, not physically, but spiritually," he said.
Jackels said to many Catholics, seeing the new pontiff makes them feel not childish, but child-like in their enthusiasm for a new Papa for the church family.