Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he arrives in St Peter's Square to hold his last general audience at the Vatican February 27, 2013. The weekly event which would normally be held in a vast auditorium in winter, but has been moved outdoors to St. Peter's Square so more people can attend. The pope has two days left before he takes the historic step of becoming the first pontiff in some six centuries to step down instead of ruling for life. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
The sound of church bells filled the streets in Downtown Lansing at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday marking Pope Benedict's official retirement. Bishop Earl Boyea led the mass on Thursday at St. Mary's Cathedral, giving special attention to the Pope's retirement. He said it's a time for thanksgiving and looking forward as the Cardinals get ready to elect the successor.
"I'm really feeling full of hope, I think this is an occasion for the Holy Spirit to be guiding us and I'm just very pleased about that," said Bishop Boyea.
About two hundred people gathered at St. Mary's on Thursday and some say it's a special moment they wouldn't miss.
"It was a privilege to be here to be able to pray for the Pope and to wish him well," said Rebecca San Miguel.
"I heard that the Bishop is saying mass today, so I made it a point to come to daily mass specifically today to pray, to serve and to give thanks to the Lord," said John DeWitt.
The Pope's resignation was unexpected and historic, considering the last time a Pope stood down was centuries ago.
"I think some people is feeling a bit concerned. They wonder where the church is going to go on all of this and I simply say trust in the Holy Spirit," said Bishop Boyea.