Cathedral High students watch as new pope is named

POSTED: 10:09 PM MDT Mar 13, 2013    UPDATED: 10:45 PM MDT Mar 14, 2013 

At Cathedral High School, the naming of a new pope brought a lot of excitement.

Wednesday afternoon, one classroom at the El Paso school held a viewing party once the white smoke came billowing from the Conclave chimney.

More than 20 students in a criminal justice course intently watched a large projection screen as the Papal announcement was live-streamed.

ABC-7 was at the viewing party as the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was brought forth.

The students clapped at the announcement, and continued to listen quietly as the new pope was described.

Surprised and interested looks were exchanged among students and professor as the announcement was made that the 76-year-old pope, who took the name Francis, was from Argentina and a Jesuit.

These were both firsts. Francis is the first pope from South America, as well as the first Jesuit to be named.

The students we spoke to all agreed the best part of the day was being part of such a historic naming, and sharing the moment with classmates. 

Some students spoke of their hopes for the future, and their new pope.

ABC-7 also spoke with Brother Nick Gonzalez, the school's principal.

He told ABC-7 he believed the theme of Francis' first public speech was unity, and sent a message that all Catholics would move forward together in the next 10 to 15 years. 

Brother Nick also said he found it exciting that Pope Francis is of American origin-- something he said he thinks may bring a new perspective to the Vatican.

Finally, Brother Nick commented on El Paso's own lack of a bishop. He noted that while it will likely be a while before a bishop is named, this will be necessary for Pope Francis to make the best decision. 

Brother Nick suggested an Americas-based pope may even lead to a more well-informed decision for an El Paso bishop, when the time comes.