ROCKVILLE CENTRE - More than half of Long Islanders are Roman Catholic, and many are excited about the newly elected Pope Francis.

News 12 Long Island's Christina Regnault was in Rockville Centre at St. Agnes Cathedral where many parishioners say they hope Pope Francis takes the church in a new direction.

Today, former Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, opened his first morning as pontiff by praying at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass this afternoon at the Sistine Chapel, however he won't meet with retired Pope Benedict XVI today.

Many in St Peter's Square were quietly shocked when Francis was announced because he was not considered a front runner.

Pope Francis is the first pope from outside Europe in 1,000 years and the first pope from the Americas.

A Vatican spokesman says he's taken the name "Francis" because St. Francis of Assisi loved the poor.

Pope Francis is taking over a church plagued by charges of financial abuse and sex abuse.