MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Catholics across the Mid-south met in prayer on this first day of the conclave. Abc24.com spoke with Pat Cheshire as she was heading into mass, "That's why I'm here this morning," she says, "praying that God will inspire the cardinals to pick the right man."
Tuesday the world watched as a plume of black smoke left the Vatican, the sign that no decision was reached.
Michael Joyce of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis says he doesn't expect a decision until at least Friday. He says there's no front runner, largely because of all the challenges the church faces.
He says, "How do you preach the gospel of Christ to a world that isn't willing to accept that? How do you manage one billion people? Then again the sinfulness of the members and how that hurts us so much and how do we bring people together heal and reconcile, those are big, really big."
Many Mid-South Catholics, like Alma Abuelouf, pray for a new kind of Pope to lead the masses. "Looking for someone young, charismatic and bold," she says, "who can draw all the younger generations of Catholics in the church because we need the young ones to get the church going."
The longest Conclave in modern history was in 1740, it lasted 181 days. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI was elected in two days.