ST. PAUL (AP) -- Thousands of clergy members, nuns and lay people paid their respects on Wednesday to the late Archbishop John Roach, who had been archbishop of the Twin Cities archdiocese for 20 years before retiring in 1995.
A steady stream of people filed past his coffin, and public seating in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was full 30 minutes before services were to begin.
Hundreds of clergy members and nuns gathered in the cathedral's lower level as the community prepared to bid farewell to Roach, whose body lay in a side chapel clothed in gold-colored robes and with his miter on his head.
Roach, 81, died July 11 of heart failure. He was born in Prior Lake and was appointed archbishop in 1975.
In his homily, Bishop John Kinney of St. Cloud quoted Roach after Roach was appointed archbishop.
"In the midst of too much hate, too much suffering, too much injustice and armed with confidence that the spirit of the Lord is present to us, we must speak to this world of God's love, justice, mercy and healing. We must voice the healing words of Jesus Christ to a people so desperately in need of healing. We must be God's prophets, unworthy as we are. This, I believe, is the church's work in this generation. That, I believe, is my work and your work."
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