LAS VEGAS (KLAS)— A somber feeling permeated Guardian Angel Cathedral Thursday morning, as the late Pope Benedict was honored with a special mass.

“He had a very loving intimate relationship with the Lord, he wanted to share that with the world,” Bishop George Leo Thomas said. “I think that is going to be the legacy of the church.”

Parishioners who attended the mass told 8 News Now they felt the need to be present at the gathering hosted by the Diocese of Las Vegas, as they were grieving the death of Pope Benedict from thousands of miles away. 

“I wanted to pray for him and just know that I appreciate him for his love for God, his writing, and how much he loved Catholics all around the world,” Simon Tran said. 

The late Pope is being remembered for his transparency when he stepped down from his role in 2013, the first Pope to resign in 600 years. 

“Really it shocked me when he resigned but showed his humility to show that he couldn’t commit to the job anymore,” Tran said. 

“He made that decision because he saw his health was failing, he said he didn’t have the emotional or physical strength to keep going,” the Bishop said. 

During the mass, Bishop Thomas revealed he had the honor of meeting the late Pope a few times throughout his life.

“I was a bit intimidated and found him to be very grandfatherly, kind, and very easy to speak with,” the Bishop said. 

During Thursday’s mass, Bishop Thomas honored Pope Benedict by wearing a gift he gave him.

“He gave me this cross as a remembrance of our meeting together I’ve worn it with a lot of gratitude,” he said. 

Pope Benedict was born in Bavaria, Germany. His birth name is Joseph Ratzinger. 

He passed away in Vatican City on New Year’s Eve at the age of 95.