Houston-area Catholics pray for retired Pope, future of church - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Houston-area Catholics pray for retired Pope, future of church

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

As Pope Benedict prepares for a life of prayer and reflection, the more than one billion Catholics around the world prayed not only for him, but for what lies ahead.

"I guess it's just a time of gratitude for everything's he's done for the institution so that's one of the reasons I came to Mass today," Marsha Fernandez said.

Pope Benedict left an indelible mark on Allison Weber's life after seeing him in Australia.

"It was the first time I actually encountered the holy spirit in my life," Weber said. "And it kind of set a fire in my life."

What lies ahead for the catholic church weighed heavy on many minds.

"We have gotten away from what Christianity is all about," Jesus Garcia said. "We need to get back to tradition and he was a tradition Pope."

"It's kind of bitter sweet," said Michael Killen said. "He's done a lot of good for the church but it's also I think going to set a good precedent for the church as far as leadership is concerned."

Another first happened in Rome.

"This is my first conclave," said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo.

Having Cardinal DiNardo who's from the Houston area, being one of the Cardinals chosen to decide the next pontiff, fills many area Catholics with pride.

"We were blessed to have him elevated what a year or two ago to have us represented by him will do us all proud," Richard Dickson said.

While one papal reign ends and another prepares to begin Larry Balsam prays that we all remember what matters the most.

"We all just got to put God first," Balsam said. "that's what really matters, that's what matters to me."

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