SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Around the world, both believers and non-believers witnessed history in the making, as 76 year-old Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis.
Wednesday was a big day for members of the Latino community here in western Massachusetts as well.
"I think that having somebody that comes from Latin America brings and inspires folks. I think they connect more with the church now that they can say, 'We have a Pope that actually looks like us, speaks like us, and comes from somewhere that we are more familiar with'", said Carlos Gonzalez, President of the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce.
Significant changes are already in play in Catholicism. Four out of every ten Catholics live in Latin America; and that number is expected to grow now that "Papa Francisco" is in the Vatican.