(03/12/13) - Catholics in Mid-Michigan are watching closely as the college of
cardinals focus on electing a new pope.
Catholics from the Diocese of Saginaw gathered at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, Tuesday afternoon.
Many took time off from work and school simply to pray together as one. They are praying for the Catholic Church as a whole and for the Cardinals in Rome, who are in charge of electing the new pope.
Many say they are optimistic about the future of their church.
They are hoping the newly elected pope will work to keep the church unified and move it forward.
Bishop Joseph Cistone, leader of the Diocese of Saginaw, tells us he is confident the Holy Spirit will continue to guide the church.
He says he is at peace with this election process, and he is anxiously waiting to see who the cardinals will select as pope.
The younger generation of Catholics is also eager to see who the next leader of their church will be.
Some of the churches youngest members are also getting involved in their own selection process.
Tuesday, students at Novell Catholic Central High School cast ballots in support of who they'd like to see as their next leader. The school held a mock papal election.
After voting, they participated in a pep-rally in the gymnasium, then went outside to burn their ballots in a barrel.
The voting process was modeled on the one in Rome. Students have spent several weeks studying their candidates.
As "cardinal electors", they cast their ballots on paper, folded them and placed them in the barrel. The ballots were later burned to maintain secrecy.
Some students we spoke to hope the real cardinals elect an American pope they can identify with.
Nouvel's principal says it was a great opportunity to experience how the global church operates.
The person who won the most votes from Nouvel students was Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.
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