Lisa Lilly discusses the role of the pope in the Catholic faith with her 8th graders at Cathedral Schools.
She just returned to St. Joseph from Rome, where she learned more about the pope as the world awaits a new leader at the Vatican.
"Right now in Rome, they have no leadership, no government, they have no pope," said Lisa Lilly, 8th grade teacher at St. Joseph's Cathedral Schools.
Lilly's experience is something she can share with her students, on the heels of Pope Benedict XVI resignation.
From the eyes of an 8th grader, the timing was right.
"I was really surprised that he did, but I think it's almost a good thing because rather than having a sickly, old man, I think it's kind of better to have a stronger, younger leader. He is leading 1.2 billion Catholics and I think you want a stronger person to lead them," said Clayton Speltz, 8th grader at Cathedral.
Now, as Cardinals work to elect a new pope during the Conclave, Cathedral's students are able to witness the process and understand what's going on.
"It's cool to have the traditional part of it, and of course the Catholic church is very traditional," said Speltz.
"Once I actually started learning about how they elect a new pope and what all they had to do, it was really interesting," said Isabel Seiter, 8th grader at Cathedral.
The Conclave is the world's oldest method for choosing the leader of an institution.
Cardinals from all over the world are in Vatican City, where votes are cast in private until the next leader is chosen.
"I really think the next pope should be either South American or African because that's where the church is really growing now, not so much Europe anymore," said Speltz.
Then, the traditional white smoke lets the world know when a decision has been made.
"Now we get to see it happening, everything that we learned, and that we read, and watched on videos, and even the things I saw when I was over there, we're actually living it now. I think that's the big difference, and I think it's pretty cool for them too, I think it's something they'll never forget," said Lilly.
What started out as a typical lesson has now transformed into a real life experience for these students.
Cardinals began conclave on Tuesday, where the first vote was cast and a pope wasn't elected.
On average the last nine conclaves have been over just three days before a new pope was announced.