Catholic students in AZ watch history unfold - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Catholic students in AZ watch history unfold

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Many Catholics across the country and around the Valley had their eyes glued to their televisions Wednesday to get a glimpse of the next pope.

Students at a St. Mary's High School in Phoenix watched the historic events unfold in Vatican City.

Many of the students cheered with the kind of passion you see at a football game, but for them this event carried far more spiritual significance.

"The youth are excited about this," Sister Martin Therese said. "There is no doubt that this is Catholicity, right here. This is the Catholic Church."

Teachers told CBS 5 News that hundreds of students were getting a real life history lesson.

"All of my classmates, all of the students here, this is awesome," said Sara Barr, a senior. "It's a cool thing to experience."

Every so often, the young Catholic crowd would start to chant, then pray.

About noon on Wednesday, Adriana Dealba and her classmates let out a big roar of applause as their new pope, Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, was on the TV addressing the huge crowd at the Vatican.

"The last few days have been a little weird without having a leader of the church," high school junior Adriana Dealba said. "It just feels so much better to know we have a leader and we can grow in faith."

Father Robert Bolding said it's great to see so many young people get so excited about their faith and witness history. Bergoglio is the first pope from Latin America.

"It's a huge Catholic part of the world," Bolding said. "A great many Catholics live in Latin America. It tells us something about the cardinals and what direction the church needs to go."

Some students said they were sitting in class waiting for the lunch bell, when all of a sudden they heard cheering down the hall. That's when they found out a new pope had been chosen, so many decided to wait out lunch and find out the name of the new pope and where he was from.

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