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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 5:44pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — It was a historic moment and a highly celebrated one at the announcement of the first-ever Latin American pope Wednesday afternoon.
A group gathered at the Pastoral Center for the diocese to watch the unveiling of the new pontiff.
"I was nervous because it was sort of quick," said Irene Valles. "I was expecting maybe Thursday or Friday but I was excited that it came so quick."
Newly installed bishop of the diocese Oscar Cantu reflected on the history surrounding the announcement.
He said a new pope is historic in itself and even more so one from Argentina.
"It's an exciting historical day and we are praying for him," Bishop Cantu said.
Add in the history behind Pope Benedict being the first pope to retire in 600 years and the choosing of the name Francis makes the selection even more historic.
"It certainly calls us back to St. Francis of Assisi who in a very humble way brought a tremendous needed reform in the church," Cantu said.
Cantu said reform was one of the issues within the church cardinals considered when making a selection.
He said times have changed and it's important to be able to relay the word of god in a new way.
"The message is the same, the content is the same but how do we present that in a world that has changed so much," Cantu said.
Mass of Thanksgiving - 6pm
Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
1240 S. Espina (corner of Espina and Idaho)
Las Cruces, NM 88001 Telephone: 575-524-8563