Tonya Papanikolas ReportingHere in Utah people of different faiths mourned the passing of Pope John Paul II. At the Cathedral of the Madeleine parishioners remembered him at morning Mass.
You can see from the black draping outside that the church was in mourning today. But parishioners said they were also celebrating a man they believed was one of the greatest popes in Catholic history. As those who met Pope John Paul remember his legacy, it seems he touched people of all faiths.
At the Cathedral of the Madeline in downtown Salt Lake the entire congregation had the pope on their minds and in their prayers. Parishioners said while they grieved the pope, they would remember all the good he had done.
Marilyn Cheadle, Catholic Parishioner: “He brought a lot of us together. He brought a lot of people together and I think that’s so important because I think that’s important in our lives today.”
Before the fall of communism Joseph Morrow met the pope. Morrow was visiting the Vatican as a U.S. soldier when troops were pulled out of the crowd.
Joseph Morrow, Met the Pope: “The pope wanted to give us a blessing, he knew it was Thanksgiving Day. He made a comment that for the people of Europe, we were freedom, and to honor our uniform and our country."
Brigham Vernon Cheney also had a special encounter with Pope John Paul in 1984. He was attending a scientist's symposium which the pope attended. But he was surprised when the Catholic leader started shaking peoples' hands.
Brigham Vernon Cheney, Met the Pope: “He shook my hand and I said, ‘Thank you for your gracious remarks.’ And he said, ‘Bless you for your work.’"
Cheney says even though he is LDS, Pope John Paul made a huge impact on him.
Brigham Vernon Cheney: “I'm sorry. It's hard to grieve a man that you've met so briefly, but I do. There was no sense of self there. He was a totally gentle, humble, caring man. And I think that's just the way he was."
Cheney says Pope John Paul compared the scientists to Good Samaritans helping relieve the suffering of the world. He says his encounter was a spiritual experience.