Raleigh, N.C. — Hundreds of mourners turned out Sunday evening to honor the life and legacy of former Bishop F. Joseph Gossman, who died last week at the age of 83.
Two services were held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh for the longtime diocesan servant, who presided over the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh until he retired in 2006 after more than 30 years of service.
"He was a good friend. He was a good boss. He was someone good to work with," said Anne Speicher, who served as Gossman's executive assistant. "He was human. He didn't want to be put on a pedestal. He wanted to be with his people."
Under his leadership, the number of registered Catholics in the state tripled to more than 190,000.
Gossman was remembered by parishioners as a man who fought for the less fortunate, fought for social justice, fair wages, affordable housing and diversity – things his successor, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, admired.
"It was never about Bishop Gossman," Burbidge said. "It was always about the Lord. It was always about the Lord's people."
Gossman's funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Michael the Archangel in Cary.
The service will be streamed on WRAL.com and on WRAL 2, which can be found over the air at 5.2 or on Time Warner Cable channel 106.