ROME (KSDK) - The 115 cardinals gathered in Vatican City will begin the process of selecting a new pope Tuesday.
On Sunday, the cardinals fanned out across the city to pray for spiritual guidance up ahead the conclave.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the St. Louis native, was mobbed as he celebrated mass at his titular church in Rome, Our Lady of Guadalupe. One little boy even called him 'il papa' Italian for pope.
The Italian newspaper Il Repubblica says Cardinal Dolan seems to be gaining support among the Cardinals and continues to be among the leading candidates.
As far Cardinal Dolan, he is mocking his own chances but feels like the Cardinals are ready for conclave.
"The only feeling I have is one of immense serenity," said Cardinal Dolan. "The last week has been filled with apostolic fraternity and good prayer and solid conversation - a real sense of trust and conversation. You know the Italians have a beautiful saying, 'you can only make gnocchi with the dough you got.' So we want to be good dough for the Holy Spirit to work."
Of the 115 cardinal electors, only 11 are from the US. Italy has the most by far with 28, which is why Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola continues to be in many people's minds the leading candidate.
Cardinal Dolan told NewsChannel 5's Mike Bush, he hopes to be back home in New York in time for Palm Sunday.
Mike Bush is in Rome and is providing updates on Twitter @mbushksdk
For more coverage, visit the 'Election of New Pope' section.