South Georgians gather for special mass - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians gather for special mass

Albany- It was a special mass to remember and pray for Pope John Paul II.

"We also give thanks to our Almighty God for the gifts that he's given us, especially the gift of this Holy Father," said Father Steven Schraufnagel, at St. Teresa's Church.

A gift who these people looked to for guidance and stability in values. Not just people inside St. Teresa's. But Catholics all over the world. Now millions have traveled to Rome to say good-bye.

Thursday night, thousands of them gathered bearing candles for a vigil.

"But what's been so overwhelming for me is the crowds and also the young people because they see the moral values of this wonderful man," Schraufnagel said.

"There's a part inside of all of us, I think, even when we're young, we really want to hear the truth deep down inside, even though we pretend like we hear what we want to hear," said Stephen Otruba, who attended Thursday night mass.

Now their prayers go out for a man they listened to as they travel through a time of transition in the Catholic church.

"We're not afraid. We're not shaken," Otruba said. "We're not worried."

Because they know the light Pope John Paul left behind will be boldly taken on by another to shine throughout the world.

posted by brannon.stewart@walb.com