ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - As white smoke came out of the chimney at the Sistine Chapel, classes came to a halt for students at Catholic schools across the area, including Kennedy Catholic High School in west St. Louis County.
The media room was packed, and the big screen was down as students stopped classes to watch history.
The excited kids stood and cheered as Pope Francis emerged onto the balcony. Their teachers emphasized the significance of the occasion, the first Jesuit pontiff, the first pope from the Americas.
As their prayers are with Pope Francis, many couldn't help but root for Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the local boy who grew up not far away.
"He would have been the world's first, but he would have been lost, I think, more to the United States and Ballwin and Holy Infant," said Mary Hey, Principal of Kennedy Catholic High School.
Principal Hey went to Holy Infant School and grew up with Timothy Dolan. She remembers when the other kids were outside at recess and he was in church, playing mass.