A very special mass helped children in Dauphin County say goodbye to Pope Benedict XVI. The mass held at Saint Catherine Laboure Parish in Swatara Township Thursday morning. “It was a way for us to say thank you, to promise our prayers, and to say goodbye to the pope from public life,” said Father Neil Sullivan, Pastor at Saint Catherine Laboure Parish. “It’s historical, so they’re part of history today and also it shows that there is a connection between us and the pope.”
It’s a day these children are happy to take part in and that they won’t soon forget.
“He’s our Holy Father and he’s the head of the church. This is the second time this happened in 2,000 years in the church and the last time it happened was 600 years ago, so it’s a rare occurrence for us,” said student Ali Januzzi. “It’s really special. It’s cool to know we have been part of history, and in the making of history.”
“He wants to spend the rest of his life in prayer and it’s very shocking because the pope hasn’t resigned for the last 600 years, but he has a good reason and that does matter. The pope has a big job. He has to pray a lot, he has to lead the church and he says right now he doesn’t have the energy, his age is catching up with him. He has a very good reason and he was a great pope,” said student Alex Giorgione. “This day will definitely be marked in history.”
Students also got to sign scrolls with messages to send to the pope.
“It was a neat experience for us. The mass was different from our other masses just because of the special things that we did with the banners and getting to celebrate everything he has done for us,” said Ali Januzzi.
“I really hope the pope enjoys his retirement and that he will find peace and that no one will get mad at him for resigning,” said Alex Giorgione. “I hope he has a great retirement and I wrote that I kind of look up to him and I also wrote a piece of the scripture to show him that I have learned from him and he’s been a great pope. And I also signed my first, middle, and last name because there is a lot of Giorgione’s in Italy.”