Gladstone region's Catholics mourn Pope

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

HUNDREDS of local Catholics turned out to pay their respects after the passing of Pope John Paul II yesterday. The effects of the Pope's death have been felt the world over, with Gladstone being no exception.

Local resident Colleen Bradley was among the hundreds of mourners who attended mass at the Star of the Sea church yesterday.

"It's a very sad day for all of us,'' Ms Bradley said. Ms Bradley joined with fellow mourner Michelle McCarthy to say a special prayer to farewell the pontiff, a man they highly respected.

"I think he was such a wonderful man,'' Ms Bradley said. "He has really been the Pope of the people.''

Ms McCarthy said it was the pope's willingness to travel to other areas of the world that had meant his death had touched so many people.

Father Michael Carroll said Gladstone residents turned out in force to show their respects to Pope John Paul II.

Father Michael said the Pope had done so much for the Catholic church during his 26-year reign.

"He's a great man and very holy man, who gave a lot to the church and the service,'' he said.

Pope John Paul II died at 5.37am (AEST) yesterday, aged 84, after the thirdlongest papacy in history. A Rosary will be conducted at the Star of the Sea church tomorrow, followed by a requiem service at 5.30pm.



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