Gonzaga Prep High School students were watching as the new pope was announced Wednesday. They saw the church select its first ever Jesuit pope and listened to his blessing.
Gonzaga Prep is the only Jesuit high school in Spokane. As students learned the new pope is Jesuit himself, it gave them a stronger connection to their leader.
Typically, students discuss molecules and cells in class. Wednesday’s teaching turned into something bigger.
“We try to help them see they’re an intricle part to the church, so we’ve stirred them about the Conclave and recognizing they’re seeing history unfold in these days,” Fr. Greg Vance, Superior of the Jesuit Community, said.
Fr. Vance postponed the lesson so students could see Pope Francis I.
“Even when he got up there, embracing everything and enjoying the moment-- that’s how I feel Jesuits are here. Enjoy the moment and living for the day they’re in,” junior Sammie Eugenio said.
“Maybe a Jesuit pope and Catholic church can bring unity, making it a stronger church,” junior Jed Kearnes said.
Not only is he the first Jesuit pope, but the first South American pontiff to be elected. Some students said they rooted for an international pope to take over.
The students watched in wonder at what they call the pope’s humility as he took to the balcony to give his blessing.
“When he asked us to pray for him and stepped away from the microphone, I sat there in silence. He actually cared he was representing us,” Eugenio said.