Students curious about Pope Francis, direction of Catholic Church

CREATED Mar. 14, 2013

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WAUKESHA - Students at a Catholic school in Waukesha took Thursday to learn more about the man they watched become Pope.

Youth who attend Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School wanted to discover why he chose a particular name.

"He kind of explained it a little bit, but I'd like him to elaborate on that a bit," said Alexander Sass, a student at Catholic Memorial.

A theology class for freshmen began with a look at the front page of the Journal Sentinel.

"I think he's a very humble and charismatic guy, and I think he'll be really cool as our Pope," explained Hayes Was, another student there.

"Nice to get to more about (him)."

Fr. Paul Hartmann says those are questions teachers will tackle in the next few days.

"They'll just want to know what a Latin American Pope will mean to the church in the U.S., which is a growing Hispanic population, (and) the church in the world," explained Fr. Hartmann.

"People will want to guess and anticipate what his Papal ministry will be like, and that will give us all a sense of where we can continue to grow the Catholic Church in the future."

Many teenagers say it's an exciting time to participate in this unique moment in the Catholic Church.

"We never really experienced that before, so it was interesting to see our new Pope get elected."