As New York Catholics learn more about the life and views of Pope Francis, many of the local faithful are looking ahead with renewed hope. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
New Yorkers who gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral Thursday morning were excited for the dawning of a new era. For many, it was the first chance to pray for the new leader of their church, Pope Francis.
"We pray for the pope in every mass so this was the first day of prayers for Pope Francis," said one worshiper. "It was great. Everyone's turning a page and looking to the future."
"It feels like we don't have to be waiting for a decision, and we know who he is and we pray that he might do the job we expect him to do," said another worshiper.
Worshipers expressed hope that the new pope will unite people around the world and help the church recover from recent scandals that have plagued it.
"I'm just hoping he brings people together that's all, gets rid of the scandals in the church and everything works out, seems like its a good choice," said one worshiper.
"I think it's great to finally get somebody from the Americas to represent the diversity of the Catholic church," said another worshiper.
"That he is able to help everybody all over the world get along better and understand each other, no matter what their faith is and what they believe," noted a third worshiper.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan called Pope Francis an inspired choice, and as New York's Catholics learn more about him, they seem to agree.
"I'm very happy with it, and they're good at picking a good man, they've done it before and they'll do it again," said one worshiper.
"We need the new pope to bring us all up and together and to bring godliness to use," said another worshiper.
Some people who spoke with NY1 were disappointed their own Cardinal Dolan wasn't chosen, but expressed happiness knowing he will be returning to St Patrick's as the Archbishop of New York.