BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts dioceses are planning special services to honor Pope Benedict XVI on the day he steps down.
In Springfield, Bishop Timothy McDonnell will offer a special Mass on Thursday to give thanks for Benedict's papacy and ask for his continued well-being after he steps down.
The Mass will start shortly after noon and is timed for just prior to Benedict's abdication at 2 p.m. local time.
Several hours later in Boston, Auxiliary Bishop Robert Deeley will lead a Mass of Thanksgiving on Thursday evening for the pope's ministry and for the election of a new pope. Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley will be in Rome at that time. He's one of 117 cardinals eligible to elect the new pope.