"Loving" was one of the many endearing terms used to describe Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gossman Tuesday during a mass to honor his life at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh.
Gossman died Monday at the age of 83.
"When my husband was dying, he came to my house and he had a prayer service with my family, so I love this man," said Peggy Casey, a Catholic parishioner.
Many other Catholics loved him, too, and they gathered at Sacred Heart to celebrate the man who served as bishop of the Raleigh diocese for 31 years. During that time, the church experienced extensive growth.
"He would often speak about the great joy it was to go and dedicate and bless a new church, knowing we had provided something that are people so much needed and wanted," said Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Raleigh diocese.
Burbidge celebrated his predecessor's life and service.
"I didn't know Bishop Gossman until I became Bishop of Raleigh, so you can imagine that's intimidating," Burbidge said.
But from the first moment, Burbidge said, "He greeted me like a brother."