During a weekend full of joyful sacraments -- a baptism, First Communion and a celebration of 45 years of marriage -- the death of Pope John Paul II hung in the air at St. Michael's Catholic Church on Sunday.
Karol Wojtyla, who was pope since 1978, died of septic shock and cardiocirculatory collapse Saturday after an extended illness. He was 84.
His body will be moved to the Sala Bologna at St. Peter's Basilica today. The funeral will be held later this week.
And while mourners filled St. Peter's Square for the first Mass in recognition of the pope's death, thousands of miles away members of St Michael's remembered him a bit more quietly Sunday morning with prayers and kind words.
"Sad, a great loss. I'm happy for him that he's no longer suffering."
"It was sad but I felt like it was personal. It was hard watching some of the news coverage of it. Being Catholic, and born and raised that way, it was very personal."
"For me, that's the only pope I've ever known. John Paul II had an incredible impact on the church. I think the interesting thing is, what happens next. Who will be out next pope? That's the next question."
"I was sad, be--cause we got to go to World Youth Day in Denver, so it made Pope John Paul II extra special. It's pretty ironic he died almost on his favorite Sunday. ... On the other hand, they know that he was suffering."
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.