SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - In Western Massachusetts and across the globe, Catholics are preparing to say goodbye to Pope Benedict XVI
He will hold his last public appearance in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday.
Then on Thursday, February 28th, at 2 P.M. local time, he will officially step down.
On that day, Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell will hold a special Mass to give thanks at St. Michael's Cathedral on 255 State Street in Springfield, beginning shortly after noon.
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley will be in Rome by then.
He's one of 117 cardinals that will vote to elect the new pope.
Some have said that O'Malley should get consideration to be the next Pope.