Columbia, SC (WLTX) - After the new pope was selected Wednesday, many across the world celebrated, including a number of Catholic churches in the Midlands.
MORE: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio Becomes New Pope
"Oh it's just so exciting," said Mary-Kay Rushman.
For the staff at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Wednesday wasn't a typical day.
"I got to ring the bells, we have a new pope!"
When members of the church saw the white smoke rise from the Sistine Chapel, Rushman's job was to ring the bells letting all of Columbia know that a new pope was chosen.
"All of it is just so exciting its hard to put it into words."
After the unprecedented retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church was without a leader. But after two days of voting, cardinals selected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina.
In celebration Father Mathew Gray and others draped the church in papal colors.
"We are trusting in the Holy Spirit, God always guides and directs his church and so we are just looking forward to it," said Father Gray.
Over at the nearest Catholic Bookstore that just happens to have the same name as the Pope, St. Francis, Maureen Weigold entertained a small crowd waiting to get a look at their new leader.
"Two of those three stayed to watch him come out on the balcony but had other appointments that hey had to be at but they did not want to leave," said Weigold.
Netty Taylor says she is looking for the new pope to be a man of prayer and deep personal spirituality.
"And if we have a man like that, we don't have to worry about the rest of it," said Taylor.
The selection of the new pope gained the attention of billions around the world, some who aren't even of the Christian faith. Father Sandy McDonald says it's because people appreciate the fact that the pope speaks out globally on moral and peace issues.
"He has a very unique and important in this world stage and I think our world needs such kinds of voices that speak up for the gospel and justice in our world," said McDonald.