Here in Rome, the night of March 13 was truly an amazing night. At 6 p.m. I went to the chapel to say Mass. The Roman Missal was open to prayers, "For the Election of a Pope." So although I didn't want rush the Mass, I did a little. But in prayer I said, “Lord if tonight is the night you select a Pope, let it be the man you want and best suited to lead your Church.”Then off I went toward St. Peter's Square, crowded into a bus, and again it was drizzling. On the bus I bumped into a Patrick, a seminarian from Scotland I met this year. As we arrived at St. Peter's Square, there were already thousands of people and it didn't seem like we'd get into the actual square. So Patrick says to me, "Hey Father, should we try to get closer?”And I said, “Let's do it."No sooner had we wiggled our way through the square to a good spot close to the large television screen, and close to see the Sistine Chapel, when, almost as soon as we arrived, smoke came out of the chimney. At first it looked gray and, in disappointment, the crowd sighed, "Aww!"But then Patrick yelled out, "Wait —— it is white!! IT IS WHITE!! IT'S WHITE!! IT'S WHITE!!!”So like everyone else we rushed to get closer to the basilica and got an incredible spot about 60 yards from the basilica smack in the center in front of the loggia. It was a cold night, raining slightly, but St. Peter's looked amazing. The bells were tolling and the crowd was energized. After about 25 minutes, the sound of drums beat as the Swiss Guards marched out for the first time since Pope Benedict’s resignation. That was emotional since their sole purpose is to protect the Pope and they had therefore been somewhat out of commission for over a week. So to see them march out and take their position in front of St. Peter's was exhilarating, for once again, “We have a Pope."It was great just to be squeezed in front of the basilica and surrounded by thousands of the faithful. When the time came and the doors of the loggia balcony opened, the crowd exploded with applause. Then the announcement: "I announce to you with great joy: We have a Pope!!!" Cheers!! Applause!! Viva il Papa!! Then the announcement of the name: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was a bit perplexed; the name sounded like he was Italian, but he wasn't. But as soon as he came out and greeted the crowds with, "My dear brothers and sisters, Buona Sera," the crowds erupted with joy and laughter. (Some of the Italians were delighted that he was a bit informal and said simply, “Buona Sera.”) It was very touching that he asked to first pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and that he asked of us a favor: “Before I bless you will you please bless me?” The crowd fell silent as we prayed for him. His name is Francis. The Italians loved it; of course, we all presumed he took the name of St. Francis of Assisi. But he is a Jesuit, so some asked, “Did he mean St. Francis Xavier?” Whichever St. Francis it is meant to be, both are incredible models of faith, having lived at different moments of crisis in the life of the Church. So we have a Pope, Pope Francis (I would say, the first, but he isn't called "the first" until there is a second). May God grant to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of St. Peter and Bishop of Rome, the grace, wisdom and strength he needs to lead the Church in this time in history. May Our Lady and all the angels and saints intercede for out new Pope, Francis.Ad Multos Annos!Father John Montejano, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is currently studying in Rome.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0315/popemontejano/{/gallery}