West Bend holds special mass in honor of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation

CREATED Feb. 11, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Catholics in West Bend were stunned and saddened by Pope Benedict's resignation Monday.

There was a special Monday night mass at St. Frances Cabrini for the Pope.

Mary Hoepner seemed just as surprised by the news as other parishioners.

"Oh my goodness I sure was, yeah," she said.

The news comes as Catholics begin their long Lenten journey of renewal. But for now they reflect on Pope Benedict’s many words of wisdom.

Joseph Heit leads the Youth Ministry at Holy Angels Parish.

"One of his encyclicals was God is love and just looking at that and teaching us how to love each other based on how God loves us," said Heit.

The Pastor at St. Frances Cabrini Parish was in seminary school when Benedict became Pope. He compares the church leader to the Prophet Isaiah who answered the call to duty.

"He said here I am Lord, send me and his response has really taken a real toll on him, said Father Nathan Reesman. "It’s not easy to run the church as you might imagine"

But Reesman believes it was important for Catholics to gather today and pray for Pope Benedict.

I think whenever something happens in the church that’s different and a little bit earthshaking, which this seems to be, it’s good to come together and pray like this.