Special Mass Honors Pope John Paul II - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/3/05-Tyler

Special Mass Honors Pope John Paul II

For Catholics it was the first Sunday of worship without their holy father. Bended knees, whispered prayers and clutched rosaries all for the deceased pope.

"I did have a consoling vision myself," Father Joe Strickland told parishioners at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler, "of John Paul II, robust and healthy, greeting Saint Peter, greeting other great popes of the church, greeting saints."

Sunday's service was even more special. It was the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Something approved by the late pope. "This feast was established by Pope John II," said Edward Hester. Most parishioners said out of the sadness, joy the pope is no longer in pain. "He struggled so much in his last 10 to 15 years," Edward said, "so we're happy to see him not suffering any more."

"I really think he's at peace now and he was getting so frail and it was getting more and more difficult for him, so I just feel like he's with God right now," said Carol Henry. For others, his legacy changed their faith and the world.

"We are very saddened at his passing," said Leah Crawford. "Like the President said we've lost our father and the world has lost a very strong leader."

"He did a great great job, doing everything that he was wanting to do to bring peace to the world," said Frank Rydzak. Catholics said Pope John Paul II is not gone, his spirit will always be there with them. "Until the died we prayed for him," said Julie Norma, "now we will pray to him."

Catholics will continue to mourn the death of Pope John Paul II over the next eight days. A funeral Mass for the Pope will be held Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It's located at 423 South Broadway in Tyler.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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