LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Catholics around the world prayed for Pope Francis I on his first day as the new Pontiff. The faithful in Louisville say his impact on the Church and Latin community will be a welcomed change.
Led by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Catholics in Louisville spent Thursday in prayer and sang songs for Pope Francis.
"I like that he's Latino. That's a big change for the Catholic Church," Catholic, Sandra Perry said.
Dozens gathered at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville, leading into the holiest time of the year. A new leader providing hope for 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
"Even though I never met the Holy Father I do know him as a man of integrity and spiritually selfless," Archbishop Kurtz said.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, is a Jesuit. The first Latin Pope. The first outside of Europe.
Itza Ritchey says it is encouraging for the Latin community in Louisville.
"I think it's great for me, I am Latina. So, he's a very good Father. He's very spiritual," Ritchey said.
Pope Francis has traditional views. He is an Orthodox leader who is against same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception, according to Catholic journals.
"Regardless of the Church's teachings regarding such things as homosexuality, he's obviously a man who has great compassion,” Catholic, Mary Jane Choi said.
The Archdiocese of Louisville serves Catholics in 22 counties and many are optimistic the new Pope will be evangelical.
"I just hope he will reach out to everyone no matter what," Catholic Stacy Gaston said.