Like Catholics around the world, San Antonio followers are preparing to say goodbye to Pope Benedict XVI.
The pontiff officially steps down Thursday from his position as leader of one of the largest churches in the world.
He made the surprising announcement Feb. 11, saying he was too weak to continue carrying out his duties, and that he planned to resign on Feb. 28.
"It's very sad that we have to lose another pope, " said Helen Pollok, a local Catholic. "He was a good pope, as much as I've read about him and seen him. So I think he did good."
Like many of the faithful, Pollok said she was shocked and saddened earlier this month to learn of the pope’s plans to resign.
With that day quickly approaching, many, including the pope, himself, are reflecting on his papacy.
In his final general audience address at St. Peter’s Square Wednesday, Benedict told worshippers that there were “moments of joy and light, but also moments that were not easy,” during his papacy.
Still, local followers like Randy Mendoza appreciate what he did manage to accomplish.
"Very successful, internationally, in rounding up all of the Catholics in the short amount of time that he's been serving as pope," Mendoza said. “I think what the current pope has done, there needs to be a continuum of that same effort."
When it comes to finding a successor, local Catholics said they hope the process won’t take too long.