On Tuesday, St. Michael's Cathedral, like many churches and parishes around the world, held an election day Mass.
"It's a time to come together and pray for the election, and that's basically what we're looking for," said Bishop Timothy McDonnell of the Springfield Catholic Diocese. "We pray he'll be a man of holiness and a man of wisdom, and if he's that, then the church and the world will appreciate very much who the new holy father is."
However, the election of the new pope is not just about prayer. There's also some politicking.
"Today it's kind of like the New Hampshire primary with a five-hour time difference, and everyone wants to talk about the politicking, if you will, about who is going to be the pope, what the needs are, and who the best candidate would be," said Father William Pomperleau, a staff correspondent of Catholic Communications.
Father Pomperleau told CBS 3 that he will not speculate who the next pope will be, but he said what characteristics he thought the new pope should have.
"Everybody agrees that we need a pope that perhaps is not too old, vigorous enough and obviously, on the other hand, not too young and experienced," Pomperleau said.
A question on the forefront of the public's mind is "how long will it take for the new pope to be elected?" According to local church officials, historically, the timeline to expect is unclear.
"Shortest conclave on record is two days ... the longest almost went three years. I hope it's not in the middle," said McDonnell.
St. Michael's Cathedral will have another special Mass once the pope is elected.
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