Students from the University of Dallas Italy campus are hoping to be present in St. Peter's Square when the new pope is elected some time this month, the University reports.
The University of Dallas Italy campus is located outside Rome within view of the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo. Students honored Pope Benedict XVI last week as his helicopter flew overhead by spelling "BENEDICTUS" in large letters on the ground.
Students also had the opportunity to attend Pope Benedict's final Mass on Ash Wednesday. According to the University, they waited in line for approximately 2 1/2 hours before being admitted to St. Peter's Basilica.
As the Conclave of Cardinals convenes in Rome to elect Benedict's successor, Dallas students are hoping the timing of the election will work with their program's schedule. The group is currently in the middle of a ten-day trip in Greece and their spring break begins on March 15, but it sounds like some students are determined to be present when the new Holy Father is elected.
The University offered some reactions from students:
"Being at the final public Mass was bittersweet," said English major Ada Thomas. "I was definitely struck by the Pope's humility. He wasn't giving a final performance, so to speak, but he was celebrating a Mass surrounded by those he loves: Catholics from all over the world and every walk of life."
"I'm hoping and praying that they elect the new Pope in between the Greece trip and 10- day because I really hope to witness this amazing moment in history," said Thomas. "If that means giving up my 10-day plans, then so be it.
"We are all just hoping to be in St. Peter's Square to hear 'habemus papam,'" said economics and mathematics major James Bernard.
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