GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Pope Francis celebrated his installation Mass this morning at the Vatican.

Before that, he rode around Saint Peter’s Square greeting people who planned to watch the Mass on big screen TVs. Many said they welcome the new pope.

During his homily, Pope Francis called on everyone to help the weak and the poor and to protect the environment.

After Mass, dignitaries – including Vice President Joe Biden – greeted the Pope.

Meanwhile, here in Pittsburgh, Catholic school students had the day off to celebrate Pope Francis’ installation Mass. And churches across the area held special masses.

Far from Vatican City, the faithful of the Greensburg Diocese sang “The Church’s One Foundation” to begin the celebration a new pope at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.

“This is truly a moment for us to be proud to be Catholic,” said Bishop Lawrence Brandt, of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

Eight years ago, Bishop Brandt happened to be in Rome after the death of Pope John Paul II. He was hopeful then that devotion to John Paul would invigorate the church.

After watching Pope Francis ride in an open vehicle and stop to bless babies, he has a renewed hope.

“He has a great outreach to people, a connectedness to people, a concern for people, and I think that’s what that… the message that he sends with his body language with his manner,” said Bishop Brandt.

Many of the Greensburg parishioners were attracted to Pope Francis’ manner as well.

“He’s what we need – a good, nice, basic man who wants to do a job,” said Kay Rowe, of Greensburg, “and not with all the holy bling. We need a good man who knows what’s going on and will fix it.”

  • Watch Kym Gable’s report: 

Bishop David Zubik presided over a special mass Tuesday night at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland to celebrate the installation of Pope Francis.

About 30 native Argentinians who now call Pittsburgh home sat in the front pews holding flags from their country.

When asked about the Pope’s enthusiastic and unconventional style, Bishop Zubik told KDKA’s Kym Gable the Pope’s security staff is “probably going berserk,” but that he “admires him even more for that.”

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