82-year-old Monsignor Mahowald has lived a rich life.
A native of Watertown, Mahowald has given his life to the Catholic church. He spent 22 years in Rome, serving in a myriad of capacities and meeting world-class theologians, including five popes along the way.
"I've been the beneficiary of so much life experience. I'm so grateful for all of it," said Mahowald.
Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign came as no surprise to Mahowald.
"It's hard to keep a secret in Rome. I think he must have kept it to himself and communicated with only a couple of people," said Mahowald. "But, then he broke it himself because he didn't want it leaked."
Surprisingly, Benedict planned to retire far before his time as the leader of the Catholic church.
"He wanted to retire, but Pop John Paul the 2nd himself was really aging and said please stay on so he stayed on," said Mahowald.
A man of great depth and clarity, Mahowald says Benedict is doing the right thing.
"It's an act of humility in my view. You recognize your limitations as you're getting older," he said.
Mahowald expects Benedict to go right into retirement. He doesn't believe he'll interfere with the conclave and that he'll rejoice when a new pope is elected.
The South Dakota native also provides great perspective while discussing this decision that affects more than one billion people.
"Popes dies and another is elected and long live the Holy Father."