Coakley encouraged the faithful to pray for their new leader and to express their gratitude to God for sharing him as a gift to the Catholic Church.
Madeline Bui, 69, of Oklahoma City, said she attended the Mass to do just that.
“We will love him and we will keep praying for him,” Bui said after the service. “We thank God.”
Another attendee, the Rev. Michael Chapman, pastor of Holy Angels, said he and his parish, made up mostly of Hispanics, are excited that the new pope is from the Americas and that he seems to be a man who will place emphasis on aiding the poor.
“This man has a history of doing that in Argentina — in symbolic gestures and through his ministry,” Chapman said. “This is a seasoned veteran, so he has something to offer us.”
Tina Dzurisin, the archdiocese's new communication's director, said the Mass was a fitting way to pay tribute to the new pope.
“While we were celebrating here in Oklahoma City, the Mass is a great reminder that we're part of the universal Church because it's the same everywhere you go,” she said. “That's why it was a great way to celebrate the new pope.
The new pope's installation is set for Tuesday in Vatican City.
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