READING, Pa. - Students at Berks Catholic High School in Reading took time out of their school day Wednesday to watch live coverage of the papal announcement.
"Black smoke means there's no pope. White smoke means there is a pope, and I guess the white smoke just went up," said freshman Thomas Gonzales. "I'm not sure who it is and I kind of what to know really badly right now."
The anticipation before the school bell rang was high.
"I have my iPhone and I have my app," said Rick Lanciano, chairman of the theology department, who found out about the new pope right before dismissal. "Waiting to hear who they're going to announce. What country he's from, of course is the big question," said Lanciano. "Where is he coming from in the world?"
It's been a topic of discussion at this Catholic school.
"We got a pope update everyday," said freshman Olivia Iswalt. "We learned what was going on and all the different things happening."
"The papacy is not something a man seeks. It's kind of thrust upon him in prayer. That's what the discernment process is all about, and there's a great weight placed on his shoulder," said Lanciano.
And who will bear that weight was revealed after the students went home, but they understood the significance.
"It's like a game-changer because he can change things in the Catholic church," said Gonzales. "He's our leader. He has to be strong and we just have to follow him."
The Berks Catholic students were excited and were surprised how quickly the announcement came.
Allentown, PA 18102