Pope Francis is a first in many ways, the first pope from South America, the first Francis. Many hope he'll bring fresh perspective to the church. Many are already impressed. People like where he's from and what he's all about.
"This is so good not only for Latin America, but for the whole world. It's like a new era," said Philadelphia churchgoer Alejandra Filipuzzi-Barcelona.
"I think it's kind of good that he's supporting not only poor people from his nation, but poor people from around the world," said Illinois parishioner Jose Gonzalez.
But at least one Catholic in San Jose is keeping his praise for Pope Francis in check.
"I have a wait and see attitude on this pope. He has a reputation for being ultra-conservative. An ultra-conservative pope is not really a remedy for what ails the Catholic faith," said Carlos Lorente of the Argentine Club of San Jose.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the highest ranking Catholic Democrat in the House, says she couldn't take her eyes off yesterday's events.
"I mean there wasn't a detail about what was happening there historically in every way that I was not - I had an insatiable appetite for," said Pelosi.
She added, as a San Franciscan, she's particularly happy the pope chose the name Francis.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York says Pope Francis is everything the electors were looking for -- a good pastor, a good leader and a good communicator.
"When we found that man, where he came from, what his age was, what his background was. That was all gravy. And I think we got not only a great man, but we got good gravy too," said Dolan.
Vice President Joe Biden will lead the U.S. delegation to the pope's installation on Tuesday. House Speaker John Boehner was invited but says he can't go because of the budget debate and the fact he's hosting the Irish prime minister at the capitol.