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ST. LOUIS, Mo.(KSDK) - The future of the Catholic Church is on the minds of St. Louis catholics after the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of February.

Inside the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Monday, catholics gathered to pray for Pope Benedict's health and a strong person to take his place.

Jerry and Andrea Hardcorn say their reaction to the news was a combination of shock and understanding.

"It was a surprise to me because it's not something you ever hear of. It's not anything we've heard of in our lifetime," said Jerry.

"He has served his flock very well during his papacy," added Andrea. "So, now that he's had some health issues I understand. And I think he's a very wise man to be able to understand how he may not be able to stand up to the position anymore."

When asked what qualities St. Louis catholics hope for in the next Pope, the most common answers were strong leadership and youth.