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Local Catholic Remembers the Pope During His Visit to Texas

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As the world continues to mourn the passing of Pope John Paul II, local worshipers are remembering the time he came to visit the Lone Star State.

Mary Elizabeth Dresser, was among the hundreds of thousands of people who flocked to San Antonio to see the holy father.

"We walked on dirt roads to get to this big pasture. It was dusty and now thinking back, it was like a pilgrimage. Not just the pope, but so many people from so many backgrounds are coming together to celebrate the mass," says Dresser.

Several bus loads of local Catholics made the trip to the Alamo City to be a part of an opportunity of a lifetime.

The Pope came to San Antonio in September of 1987 and was the first visit by any pope to the Southwest.

"It was a lot of anticipation for many people...for many people would not have the opportunity to go to Rome which is the other way you could ever see the Pope," says Dresser.

An estimated 300,000 people gathered at the site of mass. Mary Elizabeth was serving as one of the many Eucharistic ministers passing out communion to the pope's followers.

"I can remember how excited we were that we hoped to get back to St. Mary's before 7 o'clock mass or at the beginning of mass, so we could bring reserve hosts and share them with the people who weren't able to be there."

They were able to make it back to the evening mass to share the experience of being in the presence of their spiritual leader.

The spot where the Pope once led thousands of people in worship in San Antonio will soon be home to a new high school. Coincidentally named after U.S. Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens.