Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio elected pope; Greensboro students, priests excited
Mar 14, 2013 (News & Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Updated 3:10 p.m.
GREENSBORO -- Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope, the first pontiff from the Americas.
When students and staff at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School heard a new pope was selected Wednesday, they all rushed to a computer in the lobby to watch the news unfold.
"The first question in all our minds is, 'Who is it '" said student Natalie Kolosiek.
Eighth-grader Dominick Bagnoli said he hoped it is an American.
The students and staff heard the news through the teachers' text alerts on their phones. Many students cheered, said Father Christopher Davis.
The news of who the new pope is has not yet been announced, and staff and students wanted to see the news live.
Not so fast.
After trying to get the latest news on a computer, the Internet crashed because there were so many people online, Davis said.
Updated 2:50 p.m.
GREENSBORO -- Bells rang out at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church when news broke that a new pope had been selected.
The church and school, located at 201 S. Chapman St. in Greensboro, rejoiced that the Cardinals in Vatican City had chosen a new leader of their faith.
Father Eric Kowalski at Our Lady of Grace said he got an avalanche of texts when the news broke.
"I ran over to the church. Look at me. I'm still in my jeans and tennis shoes," he said, holding up his robes for proof.
Another of Our Lady of Grace's leaders, Father Christopher Davis, said he thought the Cardinals would select a new pope today. He had not expected it during mid-day -- which was evening hours in Italy.
"I had dared to think we would have a pope today," he said.
Davis was eating lunch with some of the students at Our Lady of Grace, which has kindergarten through eighth grade. When the news broke through the teachers' text alerts on their phones, the students cheered, Davis said.
GREENSBORO -- Catholics have a pope but just who won't be known for probably an hour -- until the next "shepherd of shepherds" steps out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Tell-tale white smoke is now pouring out of the Sistine Chapel.
"There's not really much to say until we know who the pope is," said David Hains, the spokesman for Bishop Peter Jugis and the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, which includes much of the western part of the state and Greensboro.
Crowds have gathered in St. Peter's Square since the beginning of the secret conclave of cardinals earlier this week.
According to tradition, the pope -- the spiritual leader for 1.2 billion Christians -- will change into his white attire and spend time in prayer before emerging from red curtains at the Vatican.
Contact Nancy McLaughlin at 373-7049.
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