As the conclave is set to begin Tuesday in Rome, Catholics around the world are being called on to pray about the selection process. Locally, Bishop Armando Ochoa led a special mass at St. John's Cathedral in downtown Fresno. He asked worshipers to keep the College of Electors in their thoughts and prayers as they make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Some who attended mass say this is a special time for Catholic faithfuls.
"Having a new Pope is a very big thing and having the Bishop here is just a blessing," said Yolanda Cordova, who prayed Monday afternoon.
The Bishop invited worshipers to prayerfully consider the 115 cardinals in charge of electing the new Pope, while the world watches and waits.
"The very least we can do is gather together with a cross section of the clergy, and lay people to give them our prayerful support. Because that's really what this is all about, it's not a campaign," said Ochoa.
He says he has no inside information about who the new Pontiff could be, but if it were up to him, he'd chooses a younger leader and someone who could deliver the word to the masses.
"It's not a new message, it's the same good ol' news, but using the media, using social techniques that are up to date," said Ochoa.
Many local Catholics are anxious for the announcement of their new leader, but everyone has different ideas about what the church needs today.
"We, the Catholics of this world, are waiting for something different. Something refreshing, something new, that will deal with the issues the church is battling with right now," said David Valenzuela, who attended mass.
A two thirds majority is needed to elect a new Pope. Word is, it'll only take a couple days to get the job done.