Catholics in southwest Detroit rejoice over the new pope because he is from South America

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - Catholics in southwest Detroit said that that Argentine Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis, is the kind of pope they have been waiting a long time for.

When Fr. Ravi Marneni announced that the new pope was from South America, parishioners at St. Hedwig Church in Detroit smiled and clapped.

 "It was so exciting for all of us, especially for Latino people," said Fr. Marneni. He is also a pastor at St. Francis D'Assisi, another church with a large Hispanic population.

"They feel that he's coming from their place and so he understands the culture," he said.

Just blocks from the church at the supermarket that's exactly what people were talking about.

"If there is somebody who is like you, who speaks like you, you have a better connection with them," said Dennis Medel.

The added bonus will be a tech savvy connection with the younger generation.

"I'm all over the place.  I'm on Facebook and I'm on Twitter," said 17-year-old Erick Martinez. "That's where all the teenagers are basically.  He said if the pope is on Twitter he will find him there.

The new Pope was also the talk of the day at the Ave Maria Religious Shop across the street from Holy Redeemer Church in Detroit.

We are so happy to have this Hispanic pope. We were waiting for this a long time ago," said Guillermo Conteras.

The new pope spent nearly his entire career in Argentina. He is 76 years old.

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