South Mississippians Remember The Pope

Members of St. James Catholic Church in Gulfport reflected on the life of the Pope John Paul the second Saturday afternoon.

"It's a very much of a shock, even though we've been praying for his good health and knowing that he was in serious condition. It's a real loss to the Catholic world, to me especially," said Odie Smith, Jr.

"When I first saw the pope suffering and appearing in public, I thought oh I wish he would stop doing that. And then today I heard he'd said, Christ didn't come down from his cross and I understood why he kept at it even after he was hardly himself anymore," said Virginia Ficotte.

"I'll always remember him as a figure that I saw in Rome, pretty frequently. We lived in Rome for two years. And he was always a little figure in white, but we always knew he was much bigger than that," said Edwina Conason.

"Today has been very sad day but a happy one for the Pope because he is gone to heaven," said Irene Dehm.

"I received a call from my mom from Panama, in Central America. The Hispanic community is very sad. I guess almost 95 percent of my country is Catholic, and the Pope has been a blessing...not just for this country but for all the countries," said Maria Salerno.

"He has been one of the greatest popes that's ever lived, and he's done so much not only for adults around the world but for also the youth. He's done a lot for the youth. And it's gonna be hard footsteps to follow in but we know that the next pope will do a wonderful job," said Betsey Sawyer.