Published: Mar 13, 2013 6:30 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 13, 2013 6:34 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Students at Ave Maria University in Collier County were excused from classes early Wednesday so they could attend a special mass for the new Pope.

The Ave Maria Oritory's 5 p.m. mass was a special service as hundreds of Catholics gathered together and prayed for the new Argentinian Pope now known as Francis. Wink News spoke with two university students, who say they feel a special connection with the religious leader.

"Having a Pope that is from South America makes you feel like he is closer to you. You can interact more with him. I think he'll be a good Pope," said student Aramis Vincente.