From cathedrals to classrooms, Catholics in Western Washington are watching the Papal developments.
For Katie Larsen's fifth-grade students at St. Joseph School, the resignation of Pope Benedict is a history lesson in the making.
"What qualities would you like to see in the next Pope?" she asks her students.
"Someone from Central America or Latin America," said one student.
Will the next Pope be a man of color? The question is being tossed around outside the classroom.
He's not a betting man, but, Father Stephen Sundborg, President of Seattle University says, "It is very likely the next Pope will come from other than a European context, might come from another continent... like Africa, Latin America or Asia."
The news of the resignation shocked Seattle's Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who thinks the Pope will not influence his successor.
"He really is someone who, when it's important for him to do so, stays behind the scenes. I'm very very confident that's what he's going to do," he said.
As the world follows the coming election, so will Ms. Larsen's students, who want simple qualities from a new leader.
"That they're kind and just a good person," said one fifth grader.