GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Today marks the first time in more than 600 years a Pope has resigned. As Pope Benedict XVI embarks on a new chapter of life, so does the Catholic Church.
"We enter on a time of not quite knowing what comes next," said Rev. John Farley, pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. "It's something that hasn't happened in living memory and you can see that in the bit of confusion about, 'Where is he going to live? What will be his relationship to the Church?' Those are all things to be discovered."
While the Pope's decision to step down came as a surprise for many Catholics, it was also well-respected by many parishioners.
"John Paul was around so long that I was just expecting [Pope Benedict XVI] to be around a great deal longer than he has but I'm totally grateful that he's been here as long as he has," said Catholic parishioner Mary Commons.
"To have the personal awareness that he simply didn't have the health and strength to lead the church is a very humbling and courageous decision," said Jake Aubert, principal of Holy Family Catholic School.
The bells of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church rang for eight minutes before noon today, to celebrate the end of the Pope's ministry, and eight minutes after noon to represent the beginning of a new time.
For now, many anxiously await the announcement of who will be the next Pope.
"I hope that the Cardinals pick a very good Pope and one who can lead well with God on their side," said Holy Catholic student Aaron Moreno.
The majority of Cardinals are expected to meet Monday as a general congregation and start the process of selecting the next Pope.