MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The Papacy of Benedict XVI is officially over, and one local church participated in the ringing of bells to honor his eight years of service.
Every day at St. Dominic Catholic Church, bells ring in the steeple three times a day for prayer and every hour, but that may change for a while.
"Our Bishop has asked us to ring the church bell one more time at 1 p.m. which is the exact moment the Holy Father steps down and the seat of Peter is vacant," said Father Jim Cink of St. Dominic.
The pure bronze bells will not ring again until a new Pope is appointed.
Father Cink prayed, "We thank You for his many years of service and we ask that you would guide and protect him all the days of his life."
Father Jim Cink led students, teachers, and members in prayer for Pope Benedict at the exact moment the Bishop of Rome left the Vatican City.
Pope Benedict XVI officially resigned after reporting health issues. The last person to resign as head of the Catholic church did so more than 600 years ago.
Lynda Holder is a devout Catholic and member of St. Dominic. She stated, "Just regret that he would no longer be the leader of our church because he was a wonderful Pope and really connected with people, young people especially."
"The man is courageous. He knows his limits, and he loves the church so deeply that he's willing to step down for the good of the church," said Father Cink.
Father Cink says the ringing of bells was two fold. It was a solemn moment for many losing their leader but one of hope and excitement for who will replace the Pope.