Villafane, 48, said she was chilled and elated by the choice of a Jesuit, and a humble man.
The power he wields can be so empowering to others, she said. He is leading us into a new moment. He seems very down to earth and simple in the sense of not allowing status to get in the way of his being a real person...
Few know better how Francis Is humility might prove to be a challenge at the Vatican than Miguel Diaz, the Cuban-American U.S. ambassador to the Vatican during the first Obama administration.
The rarified atmosphere took quite awhile to get used to, said Diaz, now a professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton. But if he doesnt forget his origins, he will not only provide a great leadership in the Church but to the world.
He hails from a country of immigrants rife with violence and poverty, which will undoubtedly impact the way he governs, Diaz said.
He especially likes that the new pope chose the name Francis because God told St. Francis of Assisi: Rebuild my church, and the Catholic Church, reeling from scandal, again seeks to rebuild.
What is also significant is that Francis is the example of...servant leadership we need today. We need a pastor who has compassion...
Jorge Lemma, a Miami Beach stylist, cried when he heard the news. The Argentine native came to the U.S. 32 years ago.
I got a little emotional, he said. Its my country, and...I never would have expected it.
Herald writers Barbara Corbellini Duarte and Margaux Herrera contributed to this report.