Local Catholics Celebrate First Sunday with New Pope

March 17, 2013 Updated Mar 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

March 17, 2013 Updated Mar 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM EDT

WILLIAMSVILLE (WKBW) As the choir sang its opening hymn, mass at St. Gregory the Great took on an extra special meaning on Sunday, as prayers were offered to the new head of the catholic church, Pope Francis the First.

"How can a Catholic today not be excited this first sunday? A new man, a new face, a personable kind of guy who lives among the poor and wants the church to realize its real mission," Father Joseph Gatto, Pastor of St. Gregory's said.

Parishoners shared in that sentiment, saying coming to mass had a different feeling after the historic election of the 266th pontiff.

"I just feel that there is a lot of joy, during the week, and it's just a relief," Kathy Mooney said.

"I think there is always excitement when there is a new leader, a new leaf, a new outlook, and he can bring something very special for us all," Adelle Haas added.

And as Pope Francis spoke to a crowd of 300 thousand at the Vatican on Sunday, Father Gatto says his message can be felt here at home.

"What happened in the square at St. Peters has an affect here in front of St. Gregory's, in our rooms, in our classrooms, in our circumstances," the Pastor added.