Central Arkansas is reacting.
Spanish Mass is held at Saint Edward Catholic Church, as people gave their prayers for their new leader.
Pope Francis becomes the first from South America, which excites the Hispanic community here in Little Rock.
"It's really good because he's Latin, Argentine. I like that.," said Catholic Alma Fuentes.
Little Rock diocese Bishop Anthony Taylor says the Pope begins the role with obstacles that must be overcome to move the faith forward.
"Our challenges are different than what the church faces in China, Africa, or Latin America. So the pope has to be able to lead the whole church," said Taylor.
But catholics say the announcement reminds them of what their conviction means.
"Give love to all the people and receive love. I love all the people because we are brothers and sisters," said Catholic Marcela Segura.