Region 8 Students Mourn Loss of Pope

April 8, 2005 – Posted at 5:26 p.m. CDT

PARAGOUOLD -- The passing of the Pope is affecting Catholics across the world. For many young people, Pope John Paul the second is the only Pope they have ever known. And for students at St. Mary's School in Paragould, Friday was a day of mourning.

The students at St. Mary's weren't even alive when the Pope came to power in the church, but that doesn't mean that they don't understand his impact.

"I haven't been around to see any other Popes, but from what I've heard other people say about him, I defiantly think he's a great Pope," said sixth grade student Jonathan Foss.

Students at have been praying the rosary in memory of the Pope.

"We always say a prayer at lunch after we eat and we've been adding to that prayer a Hail Mary for the peaceful repose of his soul," said Foss.

"Since we all can't go to Rome and pay our respects there then it's a time for us to come together and pray," said Father John Marconi, a priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

For a generation who has only known the Pope through his image on television, they look to the future.

"I believe that you really shouldn't expect a Pope to do stuff based on another Pope's standards, I think you should just expect them to do what they can do," said Foss.

"It's really a sad time, joyful time, but it's a historic moment again in the life of the church," said Father Marconi.

St. Mary's ended the nine days of mourning with a special rosary and memorial mass Friday night.