Stream of admirers pays respects to Notre Dame’s Hesburgh

Members of the community pay their respects to Rev. Theodore Hesburgh during visitation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, inside the Sacred Heart Basilica at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Thousands of students, alumni and admirers are expected on the University of Notre Dame campus Tuesday to pay their respects to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who served as the school's president for 35 years while also promoting human rights. Hesburgh died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. He was at 97. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin, Pool)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A steady stream of mourners has passed through Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame to pay respects to the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh.

Hesburgh served 35 years as school president and advised popes and presidents. Mourners leaving the visitation at the basilica Tuesday remembered him primarily as an ordinary priest who lived an extraordinary life.

John Pierson is a campus custodian for 25 years who cleaned the apartment where Hesburgh lived and the office where he worked. Pierson described Hesburgh as a good person who cared about people.

Bill Dusseau of LaPorte says he met Hesburgh two years ago in the lobby of the Hesburgh Library on campus. He said he believes Hesburgh was the second holiest person on earth, trailing only the pope.

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