Hundreds gather in his hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire to honor James Foley

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Hundreds gathered on Sunday, August 24th to remember slain journalist James Foley. A mass remembrance for the Marquette University alumnus was held at his hometown church in New Hampshire. This, as his Alma Mater prepares to honor Foley in its own way.

Foley was executed by Islamic State militants last week. President Barack Obama has called Foley a hero for telling the stories of oppressed people in war-torn regions like Syria and Libya. Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering fighting in Syria.

Foley's heart and courage drew hundreds to a mass held in his honor Sunday in his hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire -- where Foley was praised for living his faith and showing the world the plight of those affected by war.

Video of the 40-year-old man's murder by Islamic state militants was posted online last week.

Attending the mass remembrance Sunday were Foley's parents, who, on Saturday night, spoke at a vigil in Rochester -- organized by Syrian-Americans and Muslims.

"We are honored that you cherish and love Jim. We are honored that you recognize the sacrifices that he made," John Foley said.

"We want to thank you for understanding Jim's heart, and I pray that we will take up the challenge to love like Jim did," Diane Foley said.

On the Marquette University campus, Foley is on the minds of many as students and staff members gear up for the start of another school year. Sunday, folks gathered for the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, which marks the start of another academic year.

"Even in a week we are celebrating lots of new beginnings with incoming students and a wonderful school year starting, it's important to bear in mind that this is the kind of person of love and compassion we are trying to develop at Marquette. He's very much in our prayers, as is his family," Stephanie Russell with Marquette University said.

Marquette University is planning its own vigil to remember Foley. It is scheduled for Tuesday, August 26th at 6:00 p.m.  It will be held in the Church of the Gesu on the Marquette campus, 1145 W. Wisconsin Ave.  CLICK HERE for more information. All members of the Marquette and Milwaukee communities are welcome to attend.

A scholarship fund in Foley's name has also been set up at Marquette University for disadvantaged students who want to go into communications. CLICK HERE for more information on the scholarship fund.

CLICK HERE to read “Phone call home.” It’s a letter from James Foley to Marquette University that was published in Marquette magazine this summer.

CLICK HERE to learn more about James Foley's mission via the website.

CLICK HERE to read more stories about James Foley on