Dewig says it's an experience in itself studying in Rome, but just a short while after arriving the Pope announced his retirement. This Gibson County native says it's been a whirlwind experience from witnessing Benedict's final mass to watching his departure from the Vatican just a few hours ago. "Tri-State Catholics say watching a Pope retire is a unique experience. "He's a wonderful man, and has done a great job as our Pope," says Father Larry McBride, a priest at Holy Name Catholic church in Henderson. He says hearing a Tri-State seminary student is in Rome during this historic time is chance he would have liked to have had. "I'm jealous of him to tell you the truth. I did all of my studies here in the United States, but to have that opportunity there is a great commitment we are seeing form this younger generation."
Keith Dewig graduated from Gibson Southern High School, and now just a few years later he finds himself in Rome studying to become a Catholic priest. "When I first found out I was coming to Rome, it was obviously a once in a lifetime opportunity, a time that I knew I could never be thankful enough for." Dewig says the experience is more than he could have imagined. "When we found out Pope Benedict was resigning it was sad to hear that, it was upsetting to hear that, but at the same time we all realized we were going to witness history." He sat feet away as Pope Benedict held his final mass. "You learn from hearing him talk and being face to face with him. In certian situations it was a decision he was making out of his true humility." Just today he watched as the Pope make his final departure. "Hearing all of these people scream Viva Papa, or Papa Benedict, or one of the seminaries that helped us get these seats, just screaming out thank you Pope Benedict. Being able to look at him face to face, it was an experience that i've never felt so much love in my life." As Pope Benedict ends his journey, Dewig knows he is just beginning his.