As Catholics around the world—and White Plains—buzz about the election of Pope Francis this past Wednesday, one local school has decided to commemorate the event with a proper holiday.
"Here at Stepinac we're going to celebrate it someway," said Father Tom Collins, the president of Archbishop Stepinac High School on Mamaroneck Avenue. "We'll probably grant a holiday to the students."
Collins said when the iconic white smoke billowed out of the Vatican's chimney earlier this week, a flurry of ado made its way through the school's hallways—Jorge Bergoglio, a 76-year-old cardinal from Argentina, had been named head of the Catholic faith.
"We're finding it extremely exciting," Collins said. "This whole process has a mystery that surrounds it, and brings joy to the faithful."
Collins—echoing the sentiments of Father Philip Quealy at Our Lady of Sorrows in White Plains, and Sister Carol Wagner of the Good Counsel convent—sounded off on Pope Francis' humility.
"We were very impressed that his first action was not to give a blessing, but ask for a blessing from the crowd," he said.
"It's a great teachable moment—from gathering of the cardinals to what goes on in conclave," Collins continued, noting the spectacle will make its way into the school's classrooms over the next few weeks.
"Many of the kids were fascinated," Collins added. "Everyone was fascinated."