Albany- They may not be able to make it to the Vatican, but this 8th grade math class lined up in the St. Teresa's church vestibule to pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II.
"I think I'll remember it for a long time because some people don't get to see what happens when a pope dies. Some people just live in a pope's reign and never get to see this and I think this is a real learning thing for us especially in this school and learning about the pope," says Mary Majors.
They each signed a prayer book that will be sent to the Vatican in honor of John Paul. The students have been watching new coverage of the pontiff's failing health for weeks, and some were surprised to find out about his death.
"It was actually strange how I found out. I was playing a video game with my cousin and we flipped back to channel 3 and found out the pope died," says Brandon Bracy.
The students say they admired the Pope and how he connected with youth all over the world.
"It's a lot better to not only to reach out the different people in your country, but a lot better to reach out to all over the world," says Jefferey Dornak.
But like so many others, his death has left the 8th graders with one important question.
"The constant question is who's going to be the next pope," says Bracy.
"I was just wondering what's the new pope going to be like. How is the world going to effect this change," says Dornak.
Whoever it is they're hoping he'll pick up where John Paul left off and take the time to recognize the importance of reaching the youth. The students say they've been learning about the selection process, and will be keeping a close eye on who the college of carnidal's chooses to become the next pope.
St. Teresa's is holding a special mass Friday morning at 8:30 in honor of the pope. The public is invited to attend.