NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA)--Cheering crowds in Rome welcomed the new leader for the Catholic Church Wednesday.
The arrival of Pope Francis the First has brought enthusiasm to the faithful, including in north Mississippi.
Church leaders and parishoners at Saint Francis of Assisi in New Albany seemed pleased with their new leader.
Inside the church Wednesday, parishoners celebrated a Reconciliation Service.
Church members are reconciling their sins to God.
The church is also excited to have a new spiritual leader whose name is also Francis.
Father Lincoln Dall and Father Albeen Reddy talked to WTVA.com about the new pope and what he means to church goers in our area.
Father Albeen is the pastor of Saint Francis and says the new pope's name holds special significance.
"The church is named Saint Francis of Assisi who was well-known for his peace, poverty, and simple lifesytle. I think by taking the name itself he has given the message to the world. A simple lifestyle for everyone, human responsibility, and the need for world peace needs to be established," Father Albeen said.
Both men agree it is good to have a leader from Latin America.
"You know the church is very diverse. And this is the first time a pope has been chosen from the Americas. The latest statistics I've seen has over half the church population in the Americas. So, it's really a good message," said Father Lincoln Dall.
The church leaders say they will be watching intently over the next few days to see in which direction Pope Francis will take the church.