By Steve Patterson
SHREWSBURY, Mo. (KSDK) - It's been about 600 years since a pope has stepped down. But for the young members of the Catholic Church, just having a new leader is unusual.
An entire generation thinks of Pope Benedict XVI when they conjure up an image of what the pope looks like. Fewer still remember the period of transition between John Paul II and Benedict.
For the young members of Shrewsbury's Kenrick Glennon Seminary, it's both an exciting and unnerving time.
"It's an emotional time. I entered the seminary when Benedict was pope and I was 17 when he was elected and I remember John Paul II, but most of my adult life was Benedict," said Anthony Saiki, a third year theology student. "I've grown to love him and respect and I've learned a great deal from him. For my friends and I, it's an adjustment."
Students at the seminary say the despite a certain level of uncertainty, looking forward to the coming Conclave is all the talk around campus.
"I don't know if there would be a more exciting place to be than in seminary during a conclave," said Andrew Burkemper, theology student. "Where else are you going to be when everyone else is just as concerned and this the number one thing on everyone's minds right now?"
For these theologians, after the prayers and worship comes a reverence for guiding light.
"This is a moment of living history," said student Joseph Kelly. "Really that we're not only going to remember for the rest of our own lifetime but the church for centuries after this."