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Local Catholics have high expectations of Pope Francis

Parishioners attended first Sunday Mass since new pope was chosen

Local Parishioners Have Faith in Pope Francis

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Catholics in Colorado Springs headed to Sunday Mass for the first time since a new pope was chosen, and they have high expectations of their new leader.

"The moment he came out on the balcony, and asked for the prayers of the people, I was deeply impressed and moved to tears," parishioner Joyce Stolberg said.

Stolberg and other churchgoers told KRDO NEWSCHANNEL13 Pope Francis is relatable, personable, and humble. And that those traits will help bring about change to the church.

They said they hope to see more simplicity and more inclusiveness.

"(It's important) that he gets the youth, he gets the young people excited about being Catholic and about staying Catholic," parishioner Sonia Esquivel said.

The church has been plagued by scandal and controversy, something parishioners expect Pope Francis to put behind it.

"There's a lot of issues going on right now with the Catholic Church and I think he's probably the right person to make that change and influence it positively," Esquivel said.

Bishop Michael Sheridan, of the Diocese of Colorado Springs said as an outsider of the Vatican leadership, Pope Francis will bring more effectiveness to the bureaucracy. But he said in the end, Catholics' hopes aren't all that different.

"(It's) the same thing I think I and many Catholics have looked for  in every pope," Bishop Sheridan said. "A man who's a man of God, who could present the face of Jesus Christ to us."

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