PORTLAND — To honor the memory of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Bishop Robert Deeley will preside at a special Mass on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 307 Congress Street in Portland.

All are welcome to gather at the Mass, which will also be livestreamed at www.portlandcatholic.org/livestreamed-liturgies and www.facebook.com/PortlandCathedral.

“It was my privilege to work with Pope Benedict when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger and assisting St. John Paul II by directing the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” said Bishop Deeley.  “Pope Benedict’s influence on the Church has been profound for the last 60 years. He began as a young influential theologian at the Second Vatican Council, and he continued through his 24 years of leading the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to strengthen the Church and make known the Good News of the Gospel. Then he was called to lead the Church as Pope. In the kindness of his own life, he showed us what peace a relationship with Christ can bring. With Pope Francis, we can offer our profound gratitude to the Lord for the gift of Pope Benedict XVI and his ministry. In charity to his memory, we also prayerfully beg our Lord to give this loyal servant of the Church eternal rest.”

The funeral Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who passed away on Dec. 31 at the age of 95, will be celebrated on Thursday in Rome.