Chicago Catholics celebrate Palm Sunday, pope

March 24, 2013 8:27:23 PM PDT
Palm Sunday brought standing room only crowds as the faithful Catholics continued to celebrate a new pope.

"I think he's going to be a people pope," parishioner Bill Tomasik said.

While giving his first major service since his election, Pope Francis began Holy Week on Sunday with a sermon urging believers to reach out to those in need.

It was a similar message of discipleship given at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral.

After blessing palm and olive branches, both symbols of peace, Francis Cardinal George presided over a morning Palm Sunday service.

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem five days before his death.

"It was a beautiful service and extremely happy that I stumbled upon the Cardinal doing the service today especially coming from Rome and having a new pope. I'm totally excited," parishioner Djimitri Francois said.

After greeting parishioners, Francis Cardinal George told reporters that he's pleased with the choice for pope. "He's unassuming almost self-effacing in some ways but you know he's there. There's a certain authority i think that comes from personal integrity," Francis Cardinal George said.

Since his installation, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina has broken with the traditional style of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in an effort he says to move the Catholic church closer to the poor and the suffering.

Argentinian native Roxana Vines hopes Pope Francis' new look papacy can move the Catholic Church beyond its recent scandals.

"I think hopefully he will take care of that and we'll be able to leave that as a sad past event," Vines said.