Wisconsin native helping elect next pope - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin native helping elect next pope

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STRATFORD (WAOW) -

One of the cardinals helping select the next pope grew up in Central Wisconsin. His sister still lives in Stratford and talked to Newsline 9 about the cardinal's big task.

"He loved to play mass. He started playing mass when he was about eight years old," Mary Drexler said.

When you talk to Drexler, you can tell how much she loves her brother.

"We're very proud of our family and of course very proud of cardinal," Drexler said.

When you walk into Drexler's home, you'll see a picture hanging on her wall. It's her brother, Cardinal Raymond Burke. He's one of the more than 100 cardinals electing the next pope.

"It's very amazing for us because we've watched him all through these years," Drexler told Newsline 9.

Cardinal Burke was Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse from 1995 to 2004. He grew up in Stratford.

"It's always amazing to think that's how his life went from this little town to Rome," Drexler said.

Burke's sister says she couldn't be more proud.

"You never think that your brother is going to be in that position. You just don't think about it until it happens," Drexler said.

Drexler and her husband say they've visited Burke in Rome before. They even met Pope Benedict XVI.

"Faith has always been an important part of our upbringing from the time we were little children," Drexler said.

There's never been an American pope. That's one reason why Drexler says the thought of her brother being the next one hasn't crossed her mind.

"The cardinals are going to have to decide who the right person is," Drexler said.

Drexler says her thoughts and prayers are with her brother, as he helps elect the next leader of the Catholic Church.

Mary Drexler says the last time she spoke to her brother he didn't really know who he'd vote for to be the next pope.

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