EDUCATION

Steady stream of mourners pays respects to Hesburgh, who led Notre Dame for 35 years

  • The body of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh is brought in to the Sacred Heart Basilica at the University of Notre Dame in for visitation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 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)

    The body of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh is brought in to the Sacred Heart Basilica at the University of Notre Dame in for visitation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 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)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rev. Peter Rocca prays over the body of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh at the beginning of the 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)

    Rev. Peter Rocca prays over the body of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh at the beginning of the 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)  (The Associated Press)

  • The body of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh is brought in for visitation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at 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)

    The body of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh is brought in for visitation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at 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)  (The Associated Press)

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.