Reporting Susanna Song
CHICAGO (CBS) – A Jesuit high school in Pilsen is celebrating the selection of Pope Francis, a Jesuit cardinal from Argentina, as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church – the first pontiff from the Americas.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports Cristo Rey Jesuit High School held an assembly Thursday morning, the day after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was elected pope.
Students there can undoubtedly relate to Pope Francis, as they are all Latino and Jesuit, just as he is.
Several hundred students at Cristo Rey never thought they’d find common ground with the highest leader of the Catholic Church.
“I was thrilled for you; for you, for our students. A hundred percent Latino in this school; what a wonderful kindred spirit you have, so congratulations,” said Father James Ackerman, the school’s chaplain.
Ackerman knew he had to share Pope Francis’ roots with his students, so they would understand the significance.
“I think it legitimizes their culture, that here, this church has selected an Argentinian to be the leader. So I think it shows our students that they matter,” he said.
During their short assembly, the students listened to the new pope’s first speech, and then lifted up a prayer for their new leader.
“I feel closer to the church now that we have a Latino pope, and a Jesuit pope,” senior Noe Macias said.
“I feel like i see myself in him,” senior Lorena Munoz said. “Coming from Cristo Rey, I feel like we are really proud, because he’s a Jesuit, too – the first Jesuit – and I feel like he’s going to be a really humble pope.”
Like many of the students at Cristo Rey, Pope Francis rides the bus every day; or did until becoming pope.
But the most exciting thing for students to hear was the new pope is a soccer fan. As soon as they heard that, there was uproar inside the assembly – a lot of cheering and clapping.