Dozens gathered for the five o'clock mass Friday night at the Bishop O'Connor Center to pray for the Pope's recovery.
Bishop Robert Morlino says he prays for a miracle, but if it is God's will, he will accept the Pope's fate.
Earlier, churchgoers gathered for a noon mass.
At this afternoon mass in Madison ... a prayer heard around the world.
Rev. James Bartylla told the audience, "as you know we pray today for our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.
While many reflect on the Pope's illness, Father James Bartylla cannot help but remember his strength.
He says of the Pope, "he liked mountain climbing and hiking, kayaking and many things."
Everyday things embraced by an extraordinary man.
Bartylla says, "we're seeing the end of a pontificate that is of one of the truly, truly great popes."
Father Bartylla met the pope during his three years at the Vatican as a student.
"One of our postulates was to give tours to English speaking pilgrims coming to Rome."
Pilgrims like Sharon Rothschadl ...
"I was at one of his masses in '96 at Palm Sunday mass. I was in the 9th row. It was one of the highlights of the whole trip."
She says she will remember Pope John Paul for his travels, for his popularity and for his impact.
"I think anyone that's ever had chance to see him in person, it's really very moving," she says.
John Sullivan saw the pope in Des Moines 25 years ago.
"Just being there and listening and seeing him; it was just something special," Sullivan says.
"Even though we have been going through these changes in popes for 2,000 years and it will continue on, for young people, this is a major shift in their life," Bartylla says, because the Pope's influence transcends religion.
"He's probably the greatest man of the 20th century, if one studies his life."
An intellectual, a servant of God, who in his suffering, still sets an example for the faithful.
"I don't think there's any question someday he will be a canonized saint," Sullivan says.
Bartylla says the Pope is prepared for God's will.
"The scripture says no servant is greater than the master ... even the popes are not greater than the master."