STEPPING DOWN: Iowans React To Pope’s Resignation

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He is the first Pope in modern history to step down from the role.

Local Catholics say it's a perfect opportunity to teach their kids about his legacy.

Father Dan Kirby has been a Catholic priest all his life. Last year, while on sabbatical in Rome, He met Pope Benedict.

Monday, Father Kirby says he was surprised when the 85-year-old Pope announced he is stepping down. He knows Pope Benedict only did what he thought was best.

"One of the things about Pope Benedict was that he wanted the best for the church,” says Father Kirby.

He says that one of the greatest things he did for the church was to teach.

The news about Pope Benedict meant an unexpected lesson plan for students at Saint Theresa’s Catholic School Monday.

“Instead of having a question on social justice it changed to how to do feel about Pope Benedict resigning,” says teacher Gloria Gomez – Moore.

Mrs. Moore’s 7th grade faith formation class is using the opportunity to learn something new about their religion

They wrote about it in their daily reflection journals.

Student, George Long, says "I feel very sad that Pope Benedict has resigned, even though I am very upset I think there were be a new Pope that is fit for the job..."

These students say even after he steps down from one of the most powerful positions in the world, Pope Benedict is still someone they will continue to look up to.

“He is strong not only with his mind but with his body,” says 7th grader, Adam Jackson.