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Catholics at Marquette honor Pope on his day of resignation

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Catholics at Marquette University honored Pope Benedict XVI with a special mass on Thursday, February 28th -- the day Pope Benedict officially resigned. They called it "A Mass of Thanksgiving."

The resignation of a pope is something the Catholic Church hasn't seen for over 600 years. For many Catholics, this is a time of prayer and reflection.

Inside Marquette's St. Joan of Arc Chapel, a handful of parishioners gathered to give thanks and wish Pope Benedict XVI well.

"I think it's very difficult for him, a very difficult time for the whole church. We haven't seen this before," one parishioner said.

"I just want to say I congratulate him on the courage he had to make the move that was really necessary," another parishioner said.

The service was led by Father Jeffrey LaBelle, who said there was a lesson to be learned by everyone in Pope Benedict's decision -- a lesson in humility. At 1:00 p.m., they rang the bell for 15 minutes to mark the exact time Pope Benedict XVI was resigning in Vatican City.

As for who will be selected as the next pope, Sister Gloria List, who with the Leadership Congregation of Women Religious had some strong feelings about the direction the church should take.

"I think it's a definite step forward. I'm praying for those cardinals that they face reality and elect someone who can deal with all the issues, and there are many issues right now," Sister List said.

Others said it's not up to them to decide, or even try to guess.

"They say a person who goes into the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal so we don't try to predict who might be the pope," one parishioner said.

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