BROOKLYN - Pope Francis today celebrated his first anniversary as pope.

In his first year as pope, he has taken on controversial topics like gay marriage and abortion, but has also managed to have compassion for the poor and less fortunate. The unique combination has left an impact on many Catholics in Brooklyn.

Monsignor Kieran Harrington says he admires the pope for how he handles controversial issues and believes Pope Francis wants the church to remember its bigger mission of helping others.

Harrington says he knows people who have returned to church because of Francis and he hopes the trend will continue.