Local Mass of Thanksgiving to be Held as Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down

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pope.jpegGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Local religious leaders will pay tribute to Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday as he serves his last day as leader of the Catholic Church.

At 12:05 p.m., Bishop Walter Hurley will hold a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids. The mass includes honoring the life and ministry of the pope as well as praying for his health.

The pope will officially retire at 2 p.m. local time (8 p.m. in Rome) and to coincide with his retirement, the bells at the cathedral will ring for five minutes.

After almost eight years of service, the process of selecting a new pope will begin, and one is expected to be in place by Easter.

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