THERE are hopes Pope Francis will bring change to the Church, and maybe even fill a few more pews across Central Queensland this weekend.
Rockhampton priest John Hogan said there had been a positive and emotional response from the local community regarding the appointment of the Pope.
Father Hogan is hoping this week's appointment will re-invigorate people across the region and lead to higher attendances at weekend services.
He said people were also celebrating in their own way.
"I met the other night with a visiting couple, and they wanted to have a toast to the new pope," he said.
Fr Hogan said the Pope's name also had significance.
"Pope Francis may be modelling himself after St. Francis, whose mission was to 'rebuild the Church'."
"Hopefully a new pope will address changes to the church, the church needs to adapt to modern times."
Rockhampton Catholic Bishop Brian Heenan said he hoped to see the pews a bit fuller this weekend as well.
"I hope people might come to hear a little bit more about the Pope."
Bishop Heenan said there had been a lot of talk about the little things that Pope Francis was doing. "He's not using a limousine, but a mini bus and he even paid his account at the hotel he was staying at," he said.
"I think he's a man who has a simple style of life, and all I've heard from people is that they are delighted with the new pope coming from a background of service."
The Anglican Bishop of Rockhampton, Bishop Godfrey Fryar said, "The choice of the name Francis, after the great saint of Assisi in the 13th century, who gave away everything to live a life of simplicity, cannot be accidental."
2011 Census Figures Rockhampton
Catholic 28,019 25.6%
Anglican 21,724 19.9 %
No Religion 20,956 19.2 %
Presbyterian and Reformed 4,900 4.5%
Source - Australian Bureau of Statistics
Weekend Catholic Services around Rockhampton
St Mary's Church, North Rockhampton Saturday (Vigil): 6pm Sunday: 9am
Holy Family Church Feez St Saturday (Vigil): 6pm, Sunday: 9am
St Maria Goretti Church, Thozet Rd, Sunday: 7am
Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Park Ave, Saturday (Vigil): 6pm Sunday: 8am
Cathedral of St Joseph Saturday: 9am, 6 pm (Vigil) Sunday: 6.30am, 10am, 6pm
St Peter's Church, Allenstown Sunday: 9am
St Theresa's Church, Rockhampton Monday: 9am*Subject to change
St Vincent's Church, Wandal Sunday: 8:30am
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