THE BRONX - It's a new day for Catholics worldwide following the election of Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas.
Churchgoers at Saint Benedict's Church in Throgs Neck are among those who attended their first morning Mass since the historic vote in Vatican City proclaimed Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as their next spiritual leader.
The 76-year-old pope is also the first Jesuit pope and the first to take the name Francis, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, who was known for his support of the poor.
Students at Saint Francis of Assissi School in Wakefield were thrilled about the pope's new name. They prayed to Saint Francis this morning and are now learning more about the saint's life in class.
New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan was among the 115 cardinals who casted their ballots at the Sistine Chapel. He shared a humorous moment from dinner after the selection process. He said that Francis toasted the group by simply saying, "May God forgive you."
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. responded to the election by saying, "The Catholic church plays an important role in the social and civic fabric of the Bronx and New York City, and today I congratulate the borough's, and in fact the world's, Catholic community on this history making decision."
Many say they hope the new pope can bring in a new era for the Catholic faith. Francis will be formally installed at a Mass on Tuesday.