SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell will offer a special Mass for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 12:10 p.m. in St. Michael’s Cathedral, 255 State St., Springfield. Pope Benedict announced on Feb. 11 that he would step down from his office on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. Rome time (2 p.m. locally), ending his nearly eight-year tenure as Supreme Pontiff and Bishop of Rome. Bishop McDonnell has invited diocesan clergy and laity to take part in this liturgy. In addition, the Mass will be available via streaming video through a link on www.iobserve.org.
In other related news, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has regretfully withdrawn as a speaker at the upcoming diocesan Catholic Men’s Conference, scheduled for Saturday, March 9 at Bellamy School in Chicopee. Cardinal O’Malley expects to be in Rome at that time, either preparing for or participating in the conclave which will elect a new pope. Cardinal O’Malley is one of 117 cardinals who are eligible to elect the new pope. Taking Cardinal O’Malley’s place will be Father Warren Savage, a noted local priest, teacher, author and inspirational speaker.