POSTED: Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 4:03pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 7:03pm
Hidalgo County, TX (NEWSCENTER 23) — He is 76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, on Wednesday he was chosen as Pope after receiving at-least 77 votes. That was more than two-thirds of the cardinals and now many in the valley are welcoming the new Pontiff.
Sister Cecilia Henry was visiting the Basilica of San Juan on Wednesday and she says,
"I am really happy today to sincerely welcome our holy father Pope Francis The first, I'm really happy he is Hispanic and i think he will reach to the population all around the world ."
His election is a major milestone, since he's the first Latin American to be elected as Pope.
But many in the valley expect alot from the new pontiff and hope he will tackle important issues, which the church faces.
Linda Zimmerman is a parishioner at the San Juan of Basilica Shrine, she says,
"We need somebody who will be hard on the sexual abuse situation, because we have lost a lot of parishioners because of that."
Some Catholics in the valley who we spoke to also say it's important the new pope reache out to all, especially the youth.
Jackie Lafevre is also a parishioner at the San Juan of Basilica Shrine, she says, "The changes I would mainly like to see is that he accustom the old traditions with the newer generation and traditions and especially with our youth."
Meanwhile, the Pope's first day began by stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and then pay the bill himself, following that he spoke in front of crowds at the central balcony of the St. Peters Basilica at Vatican City.
Wednesday's announcement of the new Pope in the Vatican City was the second biggest twitter event ever behind the re-election of President Obama.