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By Keishla Espinal

Bishop Parkes Celebrates Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Parishes and schools also show respect and pray for our former pope.

On January 4, 2023, Bishop Gregory Parkes celebrated Mass for the repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI with staff members of the Pastoral Center in attendance. Coincidently, January 4th is the six-year anniversary of when Bishop Parkes was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

The Mass took place at the Mary Magdalene Prasch Chapel located on the property of the Pastoral Center in St. Petersburg.

Bishop Parkes prayed, “Grant that your departed servant, Pope Emeritus Benedict, whom You made successor of Peter and shepherd of your Church may happily enjoy forever in your presence in heaven, the mysteries of Your grace and compassion, which he faithfully ministered on earth.”

Pope Benedict was the one who appointed Bishop Parkes as a Bishop in 2012 and it’s the same year that Bishop Parkes went to the Vatican to meet with the Holy Father. While he wasn’t ordained a bishop at the time, he had the opportunity to meet him with the other bishops from Florida. He described Pope Benedict as, “very gracious and a grandfatherly figure.”

“I remember accepting the Holy Father's appointment as a bishop and saying that I will do my best to fulfill God's will,” Bishop Parkes said.

Bishop Parkes ended his homily by saying, “Today we gather for Mass, which is the most powerful prayer that we have as a Church. We offer this Mass, this prayer, for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict, in gratitude for the gift of his life, and for his pontificate and pray that he be welcomed into the loving and merciful arms of God."

On Thursday, January 5th at 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. Eastern Time) Pope Francis will preside over the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square. For more information click on this link.

Prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and all the Faithfully Departed

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Photo slideshow below: Parishes and schools in the Diocese of St. Petersburg show their respect and love for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and pray for the repose of his soul.

On January 4, 2023, St. Lawrence Parish and School Mass to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Sacred Heart Parish in Pinellas Park displays photo in the narthex of their church.
Memorial Mass at Sacred Heart Parish, Pinellas Park, with Morning Star School on January 4, 2023.
On January 4, 2023, St. Lawrence Parish and School Mass to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
On January 4, 2023, St. Lawrence Parish and School Mass to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
St. John Vianney Parish in the Diocese of St. Petersburg displayed a portrait of our former pope in the church.
A portrait of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is displayed during a Memorial Mass at the Pastoral Center on January 4, 2023.
St. Joseph Vietnamese Parish in Tampa display a portrait in their church and offered prayers.
On January 8th, Feast of the Epiphany, Our Lady of Perpetual Help had a special visit from the Three Wise Men who came to bring toys and candy to all the children. We began this celebration with a prayer remembering Pope Benedict XVI.