The eyes of the world were on Vatican City Wednesday, even those in local classrooms.
Students at Quincy Notre Dame were taking in every moment-- watching it live on TV.
For students here at Quincy Notre Dame, this meant they were witnessing history in the making.
A moment many of them told WGEM they'd remember forever.
And for some students the election of Pope Francis brings a renewed sense of hope for the catholic church.
It's not every day that students are allowed to watch TV while they work.
But that was the case today as students in Chris Altmix's religion class at Quincy Notre Dame kept tabs on the election of the new pope.
Students say the moment they learned white smoke had emerged from the Sistine Chapel, cheers filled the hallways.
"You could hear everybody yelling we've got a new pope! There was white smoke everybody was just really excited," said Toni Douglas
"We were thinking this one would last a long time so it was pretty nice not having it last forever," said Carson Vonderheide.
And for Catholic educators, it's a teachable moment that many young Catholics don't get the opportunity to experience at school.
"I just think it's really important for the kids, myself and other Catholics get involved and try to learn the process many times we take for granted that that pope is there and we don't give a lot of thought as far as how that came to be," said Altmix.
But is teaching and watching the process enough?
As some say the Catholic Church needs change in order to keep young people interested in their faith.
Some students say they have faith that Pope Francis will breath new life into the catholic church.
"It really helps build in the faith knowing that we can actually go out with the old and bring in new views and ideas with a new pope," said Graham Steinkamp.
Unfortunately classes ended moments before the announcement was made that Pope Francis had been elected to lead the Catholic Church.
Perhaps some students found out via social media as the Pope's Twitter account is already active.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WGEM. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Donna Vancil at 217-228-6617. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.