Roman Catholics in our region bid a spiritual farewell to Pope Benedict the 16th.

Bishop John Barres presided over a Mass of Thanksgiving for His Holiness at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Siena in Allentown.

Wednesday was the last full day of Pope Benedict's nearly 8-year papacy.

The Pope quit earlier this month, saying he isn't healthy enough to keep up with the duties.

Barres says the Mass provided people with the opportunity to pray together for the Pope.

"Pope Benedict the 16th has been a rock of of the church and rock of the 21st century new evangelization," said Bishop John Barres.

Pope Benedict made his final public appearance Wednesday in Vatican City.

Church cardinals will meet soon to select a new Pope.