What's In A Name?: New Pope And Local University Find Common Bond In Patron Saint

By Jeff Neumeyer

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- Making a connection with the new head of the Roman Catholic Church.

The president of the University of St. Francis says she's eager to hear more about why the new Pope took on the name of a patron saint that her university is also named for.

It's a source of pride for the local educational institution.

When the white smoke cleared on Wednesday, Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Borgoglio stepped onto a Vatican balcony, and took over as the 266th Pope.

He chose to be called "Pope Francis", in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, who shunned a life of wealth in 13th century Italy, in order to better serve the poor.

Our local university also identifies with Saint Francis of Assisi.

That's a fact that wasn't lost on Sister Elise Kriss.

" It's made me think about a lot of potential for the world to get to know the person of Saint Francis through our new Pope, and the way he's lived the life of Francis already, you know, concern for the poor, a humble, simple life," said Sister Elise.

One of the university's theology professors has tracked the history of the papacy.

Dr. Adam DeVille has written a book on the subject.

He says Pope Francis seems specially equipped to spearhead more effective outreach to the poor across the world.

He says he also must put in place a plan to fend off secularism and address priest sex abuse problems that have plagued the church for years.

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