With Easter considered a time of rebirth by Christians, the election of a new pope two weeks before Easter is perfect timing for the Catholic Church to be turned around, Xuereb said.
Many local parishioners feel the new pontiff, who is 76 years old, has a long road to hoe but feel confident he can do it.
“I like the way he seems very soft-spoken but appears ready to let his actions do his talking for him,” Jane Tomlinson, who attends St. Stephen’s in Weatherford, said. “I think it was a tremendous choice.”
Mark Pulkrabek, a Holy Redeemer parishioner, said he will need to wait a while before having any final say.
“I was under the impression that when John Paul II died, Benedict would be kind of like a fill-in until they could groom someone for the position, so to speak,” Pulkrabek said. “I was expecting someone younger, but they didn’t ask for my opinion.”