Irish Dominican nuns in Rome talk about the passing of Pope John Paul II and their hopes for the future of the Catholic Church.

The guesthouse in the Dominicans' Villa Rosa convent in central Rome opened in 1950 on foot of a papal request. A Holy Year had been declared by Pope Pius XXIII and he wanted as many pilgrims as possible to be able to afford to visit Rome. 

A community of Irish Dominican have been reflecting on John Paul II’s passing and contemplating what the future might bring. Dubliner Sister Christina would like to see a pope from Africa or South America. She believes that women Catholic theologians are proving that they are equal to their male counterparts, 

The Church is still very much a church for men...but we woman are taking our place.

Mother Superior Sister Amy feels Pope John II has served the Church well. Change may come in the future, but the most important thing is that God’s work is carried out, 

Maybe there will be women priests, and if that happens I feel very open about all of that, maybe that is where we are going.

Sisterr Melissa originally from Westmeath.says she is near the end of her days and is happy that Pope John Paul II is at peace, and reunited with his father and mother and family,

When it comes to my age...we’re not clinging on to life we're looking ahead and hoping that there’ll be a great reunion at the end, and that’s what I think for him too.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 April 2005. The reporter is Róisín Duffy.