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Mass. Dioceses Plan Special Services To Honor Pope Benedict XVI

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Pope Benedict XVI on Febraury 2, 2013. (Photo credit ANDREAS SOLARO,ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI on Febraury 2, 2013. (Photo credit ANDREAS SOLARO,ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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