FALL RIVER—A Memorial Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be offered in each deanery -or region- of the Diocese of Fall River on Wednesday evening, January 4, as an opportunity for the faithful of the area to gather to pray for the repose of the soul of the retired pontiff whose funeral will take place the next day in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., has asked the priest who serves as the dean in each deanery to be celebrant and homilist of the Mass in that respective region.

The schedule and location of these Memorial Masses is as follows:

Attleboro Deanery
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 4
St. John the Evangelist Church, 1 St. John Place, Attleboro
Very Rev. Timothy P. Reis, Celebrant

Cape Cod & the Islands Deanery
6 p.m. Wednesday, January 4
St. Francis Xavier Church, 347 South St., Hyannis
Rev. Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, Celebrant

Fall River Deanery
6 p.m., Wednesday, January 4
St. Mary’s Cathedral, 327 Second St., Fall River
Very Rev. Riley J. Williams, Celebrant

New Bedford Deanery
6 p.m., Wednesday, January 4
St. Julie Billiart Church, 494 Slocum Rd., Dartmouth
Very Rev. John M. Schrader, Celebrant

Taunton Deanery
7 p.m., Wednesday, January 4
Immaculate Conception Church, 193 Main St., Easton
Very Rev. Neil F. Wack, C.S.C., Celebrant

Father Riley Williams, who is preparing to celebrate the Memorial Mass in Fall River, said, “Both during his ministry as Pope as well as in the years before and after, the words, writings, and actions of Benedict XVI were an example of what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ.

“Now that his time in this life has come to a close, it is a chance for Catholics and all people of good will to reflect on his legacy and pray for his soul.  Our gathering at this Memorial Mass will give our community a chance to do just that, and I hope that many will be able to join us.”

Pope Benedict XVI, whose eight-year pontificate came to a close with his stunning resignation in 2013, died on Saturday, December 31, in Rome at the age of 95.

In a reflection shared that day, Bishop Cunha recalled the retired pontiff as an “intellectual giant” and said, “the influence Pope Benedict has had on the Church is great, and his legacy will live on for generations to come.”

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River