Nashville Catholics celebrate election of Pope Francis - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville Catholics celebrate election of Pope Francis

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Cheers erupted from Catholics around the world upon the announcement of a new pope Wednesday, and that includes thousands in Middle Tennessee.

Students at Saint Cecilia Academy and Overbrook School gathered outside with signs of support, singing and praying for Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina.

"The rally for the pope is an international initiative we heard of over the weekend. It began with some young people in Denver that said they wanted to have rallies in major cities around the U.S. and the world, celebrating the new pope and also celebrating the common love for the Catholic Church," said Saint Cecilia Principal Sister Anne Catherine.

Mass at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on West End Avenue was a special gathering to give thanks and was celebrated by Nashville Bishop David Choby.

"It's an occasion for us to express our gratitude, but also to do something else, which is we always pray for the pope at every celebration of the Eucharist. Tonight, we pray for him with a special significance," Choby said.

Francis is the first pontiff ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

For the faithful in Nashville, this move isn't just about leadership. It's a recognition of a culture that is an integral part of our own community.

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