St. Francis School excited about the new pope's name

Published On: Mar 13 2013 05:35:00 PM HST

At Saint Francis School in Manoa, all eyes were watching the papal conclave.

Not only are the students and staff excited about the election of a new pope, but also the name he chose -- Francis.

"Oh, that's so cool.  It's our school and his name is Francis too, and because he's the first one to be named Francis," said Matthew Evanoff, Saint Francis School freshman.

Just minutes after the new pope was named, the 540 students at the private Catholic School were excited to learn more about Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina and the meaning behind the name he chose.

"I think he admires Francis of Assisi or else he wouldn't choose the name," said Sister Joan of Arc Souza.  "Francis of Assisi was a radical of his day and, hopefully, so will Pope Francis.  I expect this guy to make some significant changes based on his name choice."

When Pope Benedict XVI announced he was resigning, the students at Saint Francis learned about the papal process.  In fact, some of the students had their own secret conclave where they voted on a pope behind closed doors.  They chose Bishop Larry Silva of Hawaii.

"We've been discussing the process of the conclave and how nothing is allowed in there and the cardinals have a vow of secrecy and it's a major deal," said Evanoff.

Because the religious leader has the same name as this private school, you can bet those here will keep a close eye on Pope Francis I.

"We're living history and I can't believe it -- his name is Francis!" said Souza.

Students at Saint Francis School will have a half day on Friday to celebrate the election of a new pope.


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