WASHINGTON (WUSA9) --- Students at the oldest Jesuit university in the country cheered Wednesday after the announcement that their new pope is a Jesuit, the first time that has happened.
"A Jesuit is a particular type of priest in the Catholic Church, the Jesuits are an order, the Society of Jesus, founded in 1540 and like other religious orders, we were founded to serve a particular need at the time that we still continue to serve
today, particularly education.
"We run the largest and oldest system of education in the world," said Fr. Kevin O'Brien, the chaplain at Georgetown University.
"And we also have a spirituality which is very down to earth, very grounded, and very practical. We ask how can we put our faith into action? How can we meet people where they are at? How can we bring God to them?" O'Brien told WUSA-9.
Fr. O'Brien sees significance in the Pope's choice of name: Francis.
"I think in two ways. Number one, because St. Francis, a saint of the 13th Century, he was a saint. a man deeply committed to (fighting) poverty, and so this is a Pope who wants to say to us: Get back to basics. Don't be distracted by material wealth or other worldly distractions. Get back to basics, we're going to preach the gospel. We're going to bring it to people and we're going to help people.
"St. Francis was a servant. He helped people in need and i I think this Pope will want to get us back to basics, to bring the gospel to people in need," Fr. O'Brien said.