Though mass is held every day at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, many of those who attended mass on Thursday told us they don't go every day, noting they specifically came here to honor Pope Benedict XVI.
Catholics in San Francisco said they felt somber as they headed into church Thursday morning.
"I'm feeling thankful and I'm feeling grateful for a man who has given a life of service to the church," Debra Feliz said.
The archbishop of the San Francisco Diocese asked that all parishes hold a mass of thanksgiving for the pope's service, and for his long and healthy retirement.
During the sermon at St. Mary's, Archbishop Emeritus John Quinn encouraged Catholics to learn from the pope's resignation.
"His act of surrender is a call to us to imitate that continuing search to do and to love the will of god," Quinn said.
St. Mary's student Angelica Braa added, "I think that he was the right person for the job and I respect him resigning for whatever reason that may be and I just hope someone will step up and be able to continue his role."
Other Catholics at Thursday morning's mass also said they are praying for the next pope.
"I have to put my faith in god to provide someone to lead the church, who can lead all of us, the progressive ones, the conservative ones," Jolie O'Dell said. "Hopefully bring us together with some idea of how to love the world and serve others, even though we're all very different."
We asked Catholics here who they're hoping will be the next pope and what they're hoping for the future. Most people didn't want to go there, saying they will just put their trust in god.