GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–West Michigan Catholics are enthusiastic about the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Dozens attended Mass on Thursday at The Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids where Bishop Walter A. Hurley prayed for the new leader.
It was the first noon Mass since the election of Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was announced.
“It is a gift,” said Jerry Halland from Grand Rapids, who attended the Mass.
“I hope it is refreshing and it will give the people an opportunity to rethink their faith as a new leader approaches us,” said Halland.
“He seem to be very humble and knows more about what we need not what we want.”
Terry Burns, Director of Faith Formation at St. Roberts Parish in Ada, says the number of practicing Catholics in West Michigan aren’t as a high as she would like.
“I think a lot of people are pulled in a lot of different directions, we compete with movies, television, Twitter, and Facebook, so we can take God for granted,” said Burns.
She hopes the new leader will bring a new energy and interest to the church.
“So just keeping our focus on God with Pope Francis is reminding us that the spirit is with us and calling us back constantly,” she said.
“Whether we have been away a few weeks or a few years this might be the opportunity to say this is the time to come back.”