Utah Catholics were glued to their televisions watching his departure from the Vatican Thursday.
"It's a sad day for us," says Deacon Douglas Biediger of St. Francis Xavier. "We really hate to see Pope Benedict the 16th leave."
Prayers for Pope Benedict and the new pope are offered daily at Utah Catholic churches, Catholic schools and in private. Most believe their next pope will be someone chosen by God, not the Cardinals.
"I think we leave that in the hands of the Cardinals and the Holy Spirit and whoever they select will be the best leader for our church," says Nancy Essary, principal of St. Josephs school in Ogden.
But some desire to see the first American pope or someone from Latin America. Gloria Rodriquez of Our lady of Guadalupe Church in Salt Lake City is leaving it in God's hands.
"Who ever God chooses, that will be good enough for me," she says. "Because I believe in God and that's what's important."
The next pope will have many challenges. For example there is a a shortage of priests in Catholic churches.
Some Catholics wonder if the next pope be willing to change sacred doctrine and allow women or married deacons to become priests. It's an issue Joe Trujillo of St. John The Baptist parish in Draper will be watching.
"I think there could be some major changes coming down and I think I would be okay with it," says Trujillo.