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Exuberant nuns celebrate at the Vatican as new pope is elected

Emilio Morenatti / AP

A nun reacts after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on March 13, 2013.

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A nun reacts as newly elected Pope Francis appears on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

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Nuns react after Argentina's Jorge Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis on March 13, 2013 at St Peter's square at the Vatican.

Guido Montana / EPA

Nuns show their emotions as they hear the news that a new pope has been elected as they join pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square, on March 13, 2013.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on March 13, 2013.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

People talk in St Peter's Square after newly elected Pope Francis I appeared on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

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People stand in St. Peter's Square as they listen to newly elected pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who will take the name Pope Francis, on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Ghazi Balkiz / NBC News

A nun smiles and claps her hands at St. Peter's Square outside the Vatican in Rome as Pope Frances addresses the crowd for the first time, on March 13, 2013.

Becky Bratu, Staff Writer, NBC News writes:
As the last puffs of white smoke dissipated at the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday, women religious in the United States received the news of the pope's election with a mix of surprise and hope that he would shepherd the church through its current crisis.

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Emilio Morenatti / AP

A nun reacts after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on March 13, 2013.