Scecina students keep close watch on papal announcement

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Catholic school students across Indianapolis kept a close eye on the Vatican Wednesday as Pope Francis was elected.

Scecina Memorial High School has been teaching the principles of the Catholic Church to their near east side parish since 1952. In the 60 years since the school was founded, there have been only a handful of Popes selected, so Wednesday was not going to be a lost opportunity.

When the end of the day bell rang, students did not rush for the door. Many of them rushed to a TV set to see the next pope. Matt Dominick teaches Catholic Education at Scencia, where the papal selection has been part of the class lessons since Pope Benedict announced his retirement.

Dominick could hardly contain his excitement has he more than occasionally peered over at the streaming Vatican broadcast booming from his laptop.

"I would hope he will bring a sense of integrity as well as a new vibe to include those that are struggling with their faith and give them some guidance on where to go and who to trust," said Dominick.

For Catholic educators, students, and parents, Pope Francis is a symbol of hope. Francis comes from the Jesuit order of priests, who dedicate their lives to education and knowledge. Francis, they are hoping, will also open dialogue between other faiths and include more layman in the church.

Students at Scecina were too young to really remember when Pope Benedict was selected to take over the church. Pope Francis will be the pope that will head the Church has they enter adulthood. His age had been a concern with some Catholics, but Scencia High School students view Francis has an experienced and wise man poised to lead as the 266th pope of the Catholic Church.