ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Only black smoke billowed on the first day of the Vatican conclave, Tuesday. The conclave will have to return to the Apostolic Palace for a new round of voting Wednesday.
The 115 Cardinals tasked with electing the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, are using paper ballots.
The smoke from a Vatican chimney indicating whether they`ve agreed upon a new Pope comes from the ballots themselves.
After the votes are counted the ballots are burned with a special chemical to make the smoke either black or white.
White smoke means they`ve agreed upon a new Pope.
The Cardinals hope to elect the Church`s 266th pope before Easter, March 31st.
There are several front runners from Italy, Brazil, Canada and the United States, including
St. Louis native, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
There's certainly a "March Madness" feel growing in St. Louis from the convent to the corner bar.
The Cardinals began that 'holiest order' of business Tuesday, as momentum built outside the Sistine Chapel, among those outside who have no vote; momentum building for the Cardinal now drawing international headlines, especially in Italy, for his good nature and charm.
The rise of the American priest is being compared to rise of the American president.
Cardinal Dolan, the proud St. Louis guy, was just here for Stan Musial`s funeral in January.
There`s a feeling here that he is truly, one of us.
'Tradition is that you`re supposed to put the red berretta that the holy Father has given you, you put that there at the entrance (of your home) but I`ve the Cardinal (baseball) that that I had signed by Stan Musial right next door to it,' Cardinal Dolan beamed during a visit to St. Louis to officiate First Communion and Confirmation masses for young people here in May.
The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters or Pink Sisters are praying around the clock as always at their North St. Louis convent.
They`ve now added special daily prayers for the conclave at noon.
There is one Cardinal they consider a friend, who`s prayed with in St. Louis: Cardinal Dolan.
They say they`re praying for no Cardinal in particular.
'Do you sneak one (a prayer) in (for Cardinal Dolan)?' FOX2`s Andy Banker asked.
Sr. Mary Catherine and Sr. Mary Gemma laughed.
'That would be a miracle if he would get it. That would be amazing for the Church if Cardinal Dolan would get it,' Sr. Mary Catherine said. 'We`re praying for the one who`s best for the church. God knows who`s best for the church. I think that`s what the Cardinals are doing too.'
'We`re praying for whoever God wants,' said Sr. Mary Gemma.
At the Area IV bar in South St. Louis, Chris Zimmer took 4 random picks in the papal drawing. He didn`t get 'Dolan' but decided to pull for him anyway.
'I`ll be a martyr. I`ll go ahead and say St. Louis having a Pope would be better than me having $190...or whatever it is,' he laughed.
'I would like Timothy Dolan to get it. That would be wonderful; hometown boy,' said Susan Polson, a teacher at a St. Louis Catholic School.
'If I win, I`ll call you guys,' Zimmer smiled, drinking his beer.
And if Cardinal Dolan is elected - he`ll 'drink to that'; the Pink Sisters will 'pray to that'.
Of course the conclave is no popularity contest.
A Cardinal needs to get at least 77 of 115 possible votes to become Pope.
With the Cardinals taking oaths of secrecy, there's no way of knowing how many, if any, Dolan got today.