JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Young Catholics attended a Christian rock concert Saturday night in Jacksonville, and there was no shortage of opinions in what they would like the see in a new pope.
Four thousand Catholics attended a Eucharistic Congress Saturday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, a call for renewed faith and to bring Catholics back to the church. Grammy nominated Christian musician Matt Maher entertained Catholics of all ages Saturday night, but mostly young people, many obviously moved by the experience.
"I had the time of my life, after that concert I just feel on fire for the faith," said Frank Spicer. Maher won the Catholic album of the Year award in 2008.
Lifelong Catholic Caleb Everett wants to see a strong leader as the new pope, one who travels a lot and takes advantage of social media.
"Mainly someone who can pull more people in towards the church, try to be more accessible, more outspoken as far as social media because that seems to be the way to get a lot of young people these days."
Annie Hartney has been impressed with Pope Benedict having a Twitter account. "It's definitely helpful because, even seeing those scriptures of the day, it's much easier for the youth to keep involved, and know what is going on with the church if there is more social media."
Krista Neill attends Bishop Snyder High School. She wants a pope getting out in the community and helping others.
"Staying focused on what our faith is about, not trying to make it more of a publicity thing but a spiritual thing."
Catholic youth minister Jeremy Blanchard wants a pope who can appeal to young people. " I would like to see a pope who is on fire for more conversions within the church , especially in the youth. We hope the cardinals are on the same page we are to light a fire into the youth of the Catholic church. That is the kind of pope I would like to see."
Not all at the concert were young people. Sister Stella Farini was visiting her sister from South Dakota and took advantage of the Eucharistic Congress and she enjoyed the concert as well.
"I would like to see the chance to get an American pope, but that is up to the Holy Spirit," Farini said.
Sunday night at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Augustine there will a Conclave Prayer Vigil at 7 p.m. Area Catholics will gather to pray for the success of the Conclave that begins Tuesday.
First Coast News