CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago area Catholics are remembering Francis Cardinal George at the first Sunday mass since he died.

Those heading to worship entered Holy Name Cathedral under purple and white funeral bunting and once inside, saw a picture of Cardinal George on the alter next to a remembrance candle.

Many parishioners talked of personal experiences with the cardinal. One man said he was surprised to see George as the last person at an event, staying so he could talk to anyone who wanted his ear.

Another man said he could see the cardinal in pain as he listened to the man’s recent confession.

Parishioner Allen Roche says he grieves for those who worked with the cardinal.

“The tall, younger priest was always at the cardinal’s side,” Roche said. “It has to be like losing an arm. You dedicate yourself to a person for all those years. You just watched over him.”

Several people said they think George’s Chicago roots are what made him so approachable.

While he followed church teachings that weren’t always popular with the public, his adherence earned the respect of many Catholics.

Several said they plan to attend the public visitation on Tuesday at Holy Name.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports worshippers at St. Catherine-St. Lucy Parish in Oak Park were also mourning the cardinal.

“I just remember going to a ceremony with him and him being so personable,” said Monica Ainsworth.

“Over the 17 years, I’ve always listened and believed and felt that he was truly a man of the lord,” said Scarlett Evans.

The final visitation for Cardinal George begins at Holy Name Cathedral on Tuesday and concludes Wednesday evening. The funeral will take place on Thursday and tickets will be required.
For a full schedule, click here.