Santa Clara University's Connection to Pope Francis

Catholics, parishioners and clergy all across the Bay Area are cheering the election of Pope Francis. Most are just learning about the historic Latin American Jesuit, but Catholics in one South Bay city have a unique resource -- someone who knows the pontiff personally.

One of the fathers at Santa Clara University recognized Pope Francis right away. They had spent time together in Argentina.

Father Arthur Leibscher was shocked when he heard the name of his friend on television.  He spent a few weeks with Pope Francis outside Buenos Aires in the late eighties when he was still Padre Bergoglio, a chemist educated in a non-religious university -- a quiet man, known for his deep prayer, his kindness and for his commitment to the poor.

“He’s famous for – he moved out of the episcopal residence in Buenos Aires and lives in a small apartment there,” Leibscher explained. “He takes the subway to work. He will stop and talk to people on the subway. He lived the way he grew up, which was as an ordinary citizen of Buenos Aires.”

Liebscher went on to describe Pope Francis as having "tremendous simplicity" and a man who "stands by his conviction and his teaching no matter. He's not pandering to anything except the need to be faithful to God."

Watch the video above to see Kris Sanchez’s full report.

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