SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – From St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield, the faithful gathered Thursday to say goodbye to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

On this day of Benedict’s funeral halfway across the globe, Bishop of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese William Byrne shared prayers for the Pope with a large turnout from the Catholic community at St. Michael’s during the noon Mass.

“We mourn because we feel the loss, but primarily it’s a celebration of his life. We pray for the dead. The Lord will free him with his loving mercy,” remarked Bishop Byrne.

The Bishop told the assembled gathering of mourners that Pope Benedict was a simple man of amazing intellect who, when he stepped down as Pope, showed the power and grace of a truly humble shepherd.