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New Pope Offers Lesson in Faith to Local Students

Posted at: 03/14/2013 6:55 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The election of pope Francis was not just an exciting historical moment, for many catholic schools it was a learning opportunity.

Waiting for the white smoke taught many young Catholics a little more about their faith.

As soon as they heard the news at Lourdes High School the school was a buzz.

"One of the boys came down the hall said there's white smoke," said Rita Hendrickson.

Mrs. Hendrickson's class paused to watch the announcement of Pope Francis live.

"I said you guys this is a very historical moment for all of us," said Hendrickson.

Since many of the students were too young to remember the last conclave the historical moment also provided a learning opportunity. One that started as soon as Pope Benedict announced his resignation.

"We talked last week about the process of the conclave and coming together being locked down," said Hendrickson.

"Because as you said it happens so infrequently so we're able to use websites, we were able to go on and walk through the process with them," said Lourdes principal Suzanne Lagerwaard.

Lagerwaard says the school was excited about the announcement of Pope Francis, especially after learning more about his background.

"He’s the highest leader of our church and someone we look to for guidance and where the church is going,” said Lagerwaard.

Watching Pope Francis address Catholics as pope for the first time was something special.

"Live, it was something I never was able to do in school," said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson was happy she was able to share it with her students.

"To stop and take that moment together it was just a great celebration," said Hendrickson.

Many of Hendrickson’s students are 15, which means the last time a pope was elected they were only seven years old.