Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, imparts a rare glimpse into the transition of papal authority to Benedict XVI after the death of John Paul II. Selecting the best journalistic pieces from Catholic News Service's coverage of the papal election, Walsh also peppers this essay collection with personal contributions from all seven U.S. cardinals. The book nimbly transitions through highlights from the life of John Paul II, details regarding his funeral, and the world's celebratory but sad reaction to his death. After segments on the papal conclave and the intricate process of electing a new pope, the text turns to Benedict. The essay on his primary challenges is compelling, and forthrightly spotlights the fact that ""Lay people are playing an increasingly important role in the church that Pope Benedict XVI inherits."" This book may contain more minutiae about the Catholic Church than most people will care about, but for Catholics and others interested in the papal election process, it is a critical resource.