[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/28/art.tedkenedy.0828.gi.jpg caption="Those close to Sen. Ted Kennedy said Catholicism was more than an ethnic and cultural identity to him."]
(CNN) - Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy didn't wear his faith on his sleeve, but those close to him say Catholicism was much more than an ethnic and cultural identity.
Kennedy's family chose Boston's Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as the Mission Church, for his funeral Mass on Saturday. The church held a special significance for the senator because he prayed there every day when his daughter, Kara, was diagnosed with cancer.
Kennedy died Tuesday night after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. He was 77, and had represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1962.
The Rev. Gerry Creedon, a priest at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church near Washington, counseled Kennedy for more than 30 years. He was chosen to deliver the opening prayer at Friday night's "Celebration of Life" memorial service.