ROCKFORD - Kids traded-in the
pen and paper to keep an eye on the announcement of a new Pope at
Students at Boylan learned of Pope Francis via a P.A. announcement, but most in class already knew most of the details. The Catholic teens were watching papal coverage on classroom projectors - others gathered around computers, but they all wanted to catch a first glimpse of the new leader of their church.
"I'm pretty excited about it," said sophomore Jude Molina. "I didn't really pay attention that much when Pope Benedict was elected, so this is the first time I really got into it."
There's a reason Molina wasn't interested in the Pope then; he and his other fellow students weren't even out of elementary school yet. So many teachers at Boylan have spent the last couple of weeks educating their students on the topic of Pope.
"It's been exciting to go through the process of the conclave," comments Fr. Matthew DeBlock, spiritual director at Boylan.
"But also the historical element of not only electing a new Holy Father, but also having a Holy Father who retired, which is the first time in 600 years that, that has happened."
Many students prayed for the new Pontiff in class today at Boylan. It was a request from Pope Francis asking for the people's blessing, and those blessings actually meant something for these Catholic youth, now feeling a personal connection to their new religious leader.
"It's something very real, very tangible," said Fr. DeBlock. "We have a visible head of our church here on Earth and so their excited to have that."
Molina and other students say their new interest in the Pope doesn't just stop with Wednesday's election. Now they say they're looking to see what he does next.
"Right now I think they're still praying about hopefully he's going to do the right thing and that he's going to lead our church really well," said Molina.