Local Catholics Celebrate Pope's Life

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

April 4, 2005

People around the world mourned the death of a man whom many never even met.

"It has had an impact at this church because everyone feels very close to the Pope so we're all affected by it in a way," said Catholic Mandy Kowalski.

This Pontiff is one of the longest reigning popes in history.

"Most people have only known the pope during their life or through most of their life--this particular pope. And a new Pope could mean a great deal of change," said Father Gregory Kandt of the Church of the Incarnation.

Change is just what Pope John Paul II brought the Catholic Church 26 years ago.

"[He] had a very significant if not a major role in bringing down communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe non-violently by the power of his presence and spirit," said Kandt.

This spirit leaves Catholics torn about how the church will survive without him.

"He's our Pope and I don't really know what I will do because he's the leader of the Catholic religion," said Catholic Amy Williamson.

"The church is prepared to choose a new leader for our church and it won't be long before things get put into place, but it is a terrible loss for all of us," added Catholic Autumn Powell.

While Catholics around the world mourn, they also celebrate the life of a man they loved.

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