The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning his position as the head of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the month.
In a story posted on the Huffington Post, Benedict cited health concerns.
It was an announcement that sent waves through local churches and onto an epicenter of Catholic education - the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.
Kara Stauffer, a senior at CUA who who attends Church at St. Bernard's in Rockville, said the news first prompted many a Facebook status "expressing thankfulness to Pope Benedict."
"Everyone is very respectful and honored to have been shepherded by him for eight years," she said. "Lots of students are appreciative of the Pope's humility in his decision."
Stauffer said there is always anticipation in the air when the church elects a new pope, but said of the students, "We are prayerfully supporting him and his successor."