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Columbus Remembers, Prays for Pope

Like Catholics around the world, Catholics here in central Ohio are heading to mass this weekend with a heavy heart but also celebrating the life of John Paul II.

At St. Joseph's Cathedral in downtown Columbus- a larger than normal crowd attended the Saturday afternoon mass. - just hours after the pope's death.

A picture of the pope stood on a small table at the back of the church, flanked by a single candle and a pair of Easter lilies.

Chuck Steinhauser was driving through Columbus on his way home to Circleville when he heard the news. He said a stop at the cathedral seemed appropriate to remember what he called the greatest papacy in the history of the church.

"He was a man of the people, without a doubt," Steinhauser said.

Everyone interviewed repeated those thoughts. The Pope will be remembered for his role in the fall of communism. His vitality. His travels. The way he brought people of different nations, different faiths together.

Two people in St. Joseph's Saturday came from very different backgrounds but shared very similar experiences.

Julie Christiansen is originally from Iowa. She saw the pope as a girl in Des Moines. She was ten when she sat on her brother's shoulder and saw him speak. " It's something I'll never forget. He really energized the crowd"

A few years later Michael Suwiryo was also ten. When he saw the Pope..in his native Indonesia.

"I was in elementary school. It was very exciting," Suwiro said.

Before John Paul the second a Papal trip to Iowa or Indonesia seemed unthinkable, but it was John Paul's legacy. A legacy that touched so many . Including two ten year olds who years later would gather in the same Columbus cathedral to remember him again.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.