[UPDATED Thursday, Feb. 28, 12:01 p.m.]
Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, is asking Catholic churches and institutions in and around the city to mark the historic exit of Pope Benedict XVI by ringing the bells this afternoon.
The pope will officially leave his office at 2 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, Feb. 28. In honor of Pope Benedict's ministry, churches throughout the Archdiocese will ring their bells for eight minutes beginning at 1:52 p.m. and ending at 2 p.m.—eight minutes to mark the eight years of service by Pope Benedict XVI.
St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish and Saint Francis de Sales Parish in Charlestown will be among those ringing the bells this afternoon. In addition, St. Mary's will host a special discussion about the papacy and this historic moment led by Monsignor James P. Maroney, rector of St. John’s Seminary, at 7 p.m. This program is free and open to all.
Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston, The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End and St. John's Seminary in Brighton have all confirmed plans to participate in the ringing of the bells, as have more than a dozen churches in Brighton, Everett, Brockton, Beverly, Medford and beyond.