BOSTON (CBS) – A sense of pride and excitement at Boston College over the selection of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit ever to be elected.
Students offered prayers at a special mass saying they feel a kinship with the new pontiff. “He lives a simple life, a man of the people that’s part of the Jesuit philosophy,” said senior Meghan Wenger.
His low key style is appealing to the students who also believe his selection as the first non-European pope sends a message of a more open church. “I wasn’t expecting them to step out of the box and go to Latin America or outside Europe,” said sophomore Victoria Schleip.
Beth Germano reports
Student Chris Cunniff believes many have viewed the church as “superimposing a narrow view of the world” because it has been Euro-centric. He hopes that will change with Pope Francis, a name many assume is after St. Francis Assisi who embraced a life of poverty. But at Boston College, they also suggest St. Francis Xavier who founded the Jesuits, and is considered one of Christianity’s great missionaries.
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“This is the last job he has before he faces God,” said Jesuit Fr. Paul McNellis. “I looked at his face on that balcony and I could see the weight of the job.”