The Brooklyn Diocese hosted a memorial Requiem Mass to commemorate the life and service of the late former Pope Benedict XVI at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn.
Pope Benedict XVI served as the former head of the Catholic Church from April 2005 until his resignation in February of 2013. He died on Dec. 31 at the age of 95.
Benedict was the first pontiff in almost 600 years to resign from the position, which he said was due to poor health.
At the Requiem Mass on Jan. 5, Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann served as the main celebrant with about 20 diocese priests con-celebrating.
“Today, we believe that the promise that Jesus makes to us, the souls of the just, are in his hands,” said Bishop Tiedemann during the mass. “Benedict is with Him. We are told that we are children of God, but what we shall be we don’t know. But we will see God as He is, and we will become like Him. You and I will become like Him, but we pray this morning our brother Benedict, our shepherd, sees God as He is.”
Also attending the mass were nearly all students from Catholic high schools in the diocese, along with five deacons.
The Requiem Mass follows a recent episode of Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s podcast “Big City Catholics,” which saw the Bishop joined by co-host Father Christopher Heanue reflecting on the late Pope’s life and teachings.
What we needed in the time of Benedict was a certain sense of deepening that faith, of getting to know the mystery of God,” said Bishop Brennan during the podcast on Jan. 4. “Coming to know Jesus as a person. You see, as you said, his last words; ‘Jesus, I love you.’ Wow, that just says so much because I think that sums up his mission. It wasn’t about intellect. It was to get to know Jesus, really to know Jesus. If you read his writings, that’s what it’s about.”