The announcement is cause for celebration for billions of Catholics around the world.
And the excitement stretches far beyond St. Peter's Square, to right here in the Valley.
"I think there's always excitement when a new pope is elected. I'm hoping the new pope will breathe new life into the church," said Carol Hammond.
Members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sullivan said their prayers and offered praise for Pope Francis, who many say appears to be a strong leader.
"I understand that he was runner-up when Benedict was elected, so if that's the case then maybe he's a good choice," said Father Frank Renner.
Bishop Charles Thompson says he has a history of embracing the homeless.
"They were trying to identify the needs of the church in those meetings they were having. They were looking for someone who is a man of holiness, and someone who shows care for the poor. So Francis would certainly reflect a concern for the poor," said Bishop Charles Thompson.
Local sisters from the Sisters of Providence say, the quick decision by cardinal electors is a positive reflection of Pope Francis.
"Two days is a very short time to have a conclave come out with a pope, so I think that's good; they certainly had him pegged before they went in there," said Sister Nancy Reynolds.
Sister Nancy Reynolds and local Catholics agree, his Argentinian roots could help unify church.
"I just think it's wonderful. The fact that we chose someone who is not European, could signify a new direction the church is going. This is the first time in a long time that we've had someone who isn't European," said Sister Reynolds.
"I hope it brings more community to the church," said Carol Hammond.
Reynolds hopes the new leadership brings about other changes as well.
"I hope he would be more willing to listen to the role of Catholics, and the women in the church. This may bring about more active participation than we've seen in the past," said Sister Reynolds.
General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson promises to help take on the responsibility.
"He can count on us to do the work of the church in our area; the works of mercy and justice," said Sister Denise Wilkinson.
At least a two-thirds majority was needed to elect Pope Francis.
He is the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic Church.