Many Catholics throughout the state spent the afternoon glued to their TVs and iPads, waiting for word.
Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday and chose the name Francis, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
There are more Roman Catholics in the Americas than in any other part of the world. There are about 74 million Catholics in the United States, the fourth largest Catholic population in the world.
Declaring that he lacks the strength to do his job, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he will resign Feb. 28 — becoming the first pontiff to step down in 600 years.