As Pope Francis celebrated his inaugural mass at the Vatican, the young men at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School prayed for the new pontiff and held a service in his honor.
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, focuses on evangelization, education, research and missionary efforts, all important values at Belen.
“You feel like you know, he's part of that same system that you are, so you got kind of that 'one of us' is now leading the church,” said Belen Jesuit senior Jake Larson. “Definitely a sensation of pride.”
Jesuit priest Pedro Suarez said the new pontiff will likely hold Jesuits to higher standards, but he will also bring surprises to those who practice the Catholic faith.
“He has had all of us stunned at some of the things he has done,” said Suarez, who refered to things like the simple and humble first greeting of the pontiff.
“‘My brothers and sisters, good evening' is a very simple greeting, it's not any papal rhetoric or anything,” said Suarez.
But for the most part, the students at Belen Jesuit were pleased to know that one of their own is now the head of the Catholic Church.
“It's an honor to have a Pope that's a Jesuit,” said senior Kenji Martinez. “It's an honor... to share, because we're so close to him.”
The school is looking forward to the upcoming years under Pope Francis and prays their Jesuit faith can be highlighted worldwide.
“He's going to be a Pope with a lot of action. That's what the Jesuits are really about. They're not about kind of staying back, prayer a lot, they're really about going out there and doing things,” said Larson. “Talking to people and really really being active with them, the most oppressed, poor, sick or old people in society."