Fresh bouquets of flowers lay at the shrine to the Virgin Mary outside the Corpus Christi Catholic Community Church on Snyder Avenue Saturday as mourners came to pay tribute to the passing of Pope John Paul II.
Quiet grief, contemplation and thoughts on the late Holy Father's legacy dominated conversation after the celebration of the 4 p.m. Mass.
"I've found myself checking the Internet every hour for the last couple of days for the latest news on his health," said Lisa Kennison of Carson City, who described the pope as a fighter, both for the way he continually bounced back from death's door in life and for his tenacious promotion of traditional values and the culture of life.
"He will be missed," she added.
Charles Mahoney said that Pope John Paul II was a leader who got the church back on track. "He was a well-traveled man, but wherever he was, his presence was profound."
Speculating on the pope's possible replacement, the Reverend Father James J. Setelik Jr. entertained ideas of the new Holy Father coming out of a Third World nation.
"Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in over 400 years," he said. "I think the church is opening things up. I think the possibility exists that we could even have an African pope."
The Reverend Father Setelik Jr. was a missionary in Guatemala when Pope John Paul II was elected.
He put the pope's passing in a positive light.
"If we are Christians and believe in what we preach than what better time than when we're celebrating the Resurrection, and even more appropriately, what better time than on the Sunday of Divine Mercy," a celebration decreed by Pope John Paul II in 2000, to celebrate Saint Faustina, a Polish nun.
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