Pope Francis smiles during Chrism Mass at Vatican.
In an interview the day after cardinals selected Pope Francis, Archbishop Alexander Sample said he was at first surprised to see the Argentinian cardinal step out on the balcony above St. Peter Square.
"That was quickly followed by great joy and excitement and hope," the archbishop said in an interview podcast. Archbishop Sample says he is excited to see the unfolding of the pontificate of the first pope from the Americas.
"I see him as prayerful and humble man," the archbishop said. "I was touched that he asked people to pray for him."
A champion of the poor, the new pope seems to be a strong leader, the archbishop said.
"I suspect he will seek to bring some reform to the church, perhaps to the inner offices, the Roman curia itself," the archbishop explained, adding that Pope Francis may "bring back that central focus of the church being of service, not only to the people of the church, but to the world."
To listen to the entire interview with Archbishop Sample go to www.dioceseofmarquette.org/podcast.php. It's dated 3/14 under "Bishop Alexander Sample."
Meanwhile, Father Bob Grimm, an Oregon Province Jesuit who served in his order's offices in Rome, says the first Jesuit pope seems more apt to invite people to a deep spirituality of poverty than to seek radical social change. Of course, said Father Grimm, a spiritual change may be the best foundation for social transformation.