Local Latino businessmen and businesswomen gathered Wednesday at El Caserio, an Ecuadorian-American restaurant in Silver Lake.
As fate would have it, their regularly scheduled meeting happened just minutes after it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina would become the new Pope Francis I.
Excitement about the new pope ran high.
"We feel so blessed and we are very thankful because finally we got a Latin American pope," said Elba Berruz, an Ecuadorian-American, who runs the group.
She also lives in the Virgil Village neighborhood at the western edge of Silver Lake.
"We needed it, not only to Argentina, but to the world, but to help the faith to grow and the solve the modern problems that the Catholic Church faces," Berruz said.
Berruz liked that Bergoglio was young (only 76) and shared the ideals of many in Central and South America.
Ernesto Castellanos, who runs the Temple Recycling Corporation on West Temple Street, said he felt "blessed" by the news.
"This will motivate all business owners to do a better job and do better with the community," he said.
Castellanos was not surprised by the choice of a Latin American pope. He thinks it will be good for both Catholicism and Christianity.
Both Castellanos and Berruz said they did not think that Bergolio's Italian parents made him any less Latino.
"That's another blessing that we are going to have," said Berruz. "There will be two or three continents together in this pope."
El Caserio, an elegant, hand-built indoor-outdoor space, backs onto Silver Lake Boulevard just before it hits the 101 Freeway.
With a VIP room, it is a popular space for special events, especially among those with Latin American roots.
Eric Garcetti, one of two candidates in the runoff for Los Angeles mayor, was the invited speaker at Wednesday's meeting.
The conversation ranged from small business growth and jobs to immigration and tourism.
Garcetti told the group he thought Los Angeles needs to do a better job of positioning itself globally as the United States' foremost "Latino city."
He said he had floated the idea of a Latino-focused event like the South-by-Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Festival or the TED conferences as one way to do so.