Catholics and non-Catholics in our region have been buzzing with excitement, but the announcement is big news for those who are hoping for significant changes in the Catholic Church.  

As soon as the Pope appeared on the balcony in Rome, there was a white mist in Halifax.

Archbishop Anthony Mancini popped champagne to celebrate.

“This is amazing,” exclaims Archbishop Mancini. “The first outside of Europe in 1000 years.”

There was similar excitement that erupted at Saint Benedict Parish in Clayton Park.

“We’re already feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit,” describes Communications Director, Kate Robinson, “This is a historic day for our church, a total blessing.”

Their eyes were focused on a laptop, watching a live stream, with fingers on smart phones following Twitter updates.

“We have Twitter feeds and texting friends,” says Parish Ministries Counselor, Tanya Rodgerson. “It’s all over the place.”  

In the social media world, talk of the new Pope is also over the place.

“This new medium is just one addition to the plethora of communication tools that they have,” explains Philip Mai at the Dalhousie Social Media Lab.

“He bowed his head and he asked for people to pray for him,” says Most Rev. Anthony Mancini. “I’ve never seen that before. That gesture, speaks to the man that he is, and the man I hope he is for our church at this time.”

“Here is he looking very terrified,” describes Rodgerson as she comments on the Pope’s first meet and greet. “Comes out very shy, he has a shy smile. There seems to be a real sweetness about him.”

It’s a first impression with hopes of a fresh start for an intuition centuries old.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl