Local parishioners look ahead to next pope
BOSTON (WHDH) – Back in the Bay State, local parishioners honored Pope Benedict XVI’s last day at the Vatican.
At noontime Mass, parishioners said they are praying for Benedict, but they are also looking to the future and who will take the helm of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict XVI is the first pontiff to resign in 600 years and many Catholics in Boston said they support his decision. Now many are focused on the cardinals that will be converging on the Vatican over the next couple days to begin the process of selecting a new leader.
During an afternoon service at the Boston University Catholic Center, students offered up their own thoughts on the type of person they hope the cardinals will select.
“Not just looking for a great leader, a great speaker…it’s holiness that matters,” said Sara Machado, a parishioner.
“Good leadership, expanding the Church even more. The Church is so alive right now. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there’s so much positive things that are going on in the Church,” said Kevin Climaco, a BU student.
Local parishioners expressed what they would like to see in the next pope.
“An overall look at the entire faithful and to bring people who have left the church back. I think the young people are the ones that- the generation coming up that are the most important,” said Joan Tolentino.
“A lot of people think- they look at the young people and they say to reach out to young people. We have to do young people things, we have to have rock concerts, we have to tweet, we have to be on Facebook and that’s not really what it’s about. I think it’s about connecting to what the church has always been good at and if we find what we’ve been doing best and just grab on to that,” said Matt Menendez.
At St. Paul’s in Cambridge, the church bells rang for a full 8 minutes from 1:52 until 2 p.m. when the pontiff officially stepped aside. There was also a Mass honoring Pope Benedict at 7 p.m. Thursday.
There was a Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston Thursday night as well. Bishop-elect Robert Deeley said the pope's resignation came as no surprise after seeing him in November of 2011.
"I thought he looked very weak. And I thought that he looked sickly. So I told people that I thought it might happen on his 86th birthday in April -- he might just decide to resign because he's that much of a human being. A thoughtful, reflectful, prayerful human being," said Bishop-elect Deeley.
The Bishop-elect ended his message with the Pope's final tweet.