MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) -Buenos Aires Bakery and Cafe on Miami Beach was buzzing Wednesday following the announcement that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was selected as the next pope.
Cardinal Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis I, was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now, he’s the Bishop of Rome.READ MORE: Florida Is Ditching Palm Trees To Fight Climate Crisis
Gabriela Pasquiarela said she had been watching the conclave closely.
The Argentinian living in South Florida even discussed the papal succession with friends and customers.
She said she was overwhelmed when she learned the Cardinal from her native country would lead the Roman Catholic Church.
“Tears started rolling. Goosebumps. The excitement was unbelievable,” Pasquiarela said.READ MORE: Florida Boy, 15, Faces Charges In Death Of Girl He's Accused Of Shooting
She said she’d heard of several possible frontrunners, but never suspected Cardinal Bergoglio.
“Never in a million years did we think Argentina,” she said. “Never.”
Argentina boasts more than 30 million Catholics. Roughly 75% percent of its population identifies with the church.
Pope Francis is a for Argentina and a first for all of Latin America.
“I think it’s something big for everybody,” Pasquiarela. “He’s going to represent. I think he’s going to do a really good job. I think he’s from the old school and I think that’s what we need right now.”
Other South Florida Catholics agree, and are hopeful for the future.MORE NEWS: Coast Guard Transfers 28 Cubans To The Bahamas
“It’s a very exciting time,” Natasha Hovey said as she entered Saint Joseph’s Church on Miami Beach. “He’s a lovely, lovely person.”