His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
The Apostolic Palace
The Vatican City State
February 25, 2013
Most Holy Father,
Even as we are saddened by your departure from the throne of Saint Peter, we trust your judgment and have complete assurance that you are acting for the good of the Church. At this moment we wish to express our gratitude for your self-sacrificing ministry as the Chief Shepherd of the Church, and for your entire life of service to God’s People.
Tomorrow night we will gather as a parish to offer a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for your ministry as Supreme Pontiff. To this Mass we add our personal prayers and Lenten penances for your intentions. We beg the heavenly Father to grant you health, long life, and a peaceful conclusion to your remaining years on earth.
Even as we now begin to pray that the Holy Spirit may guide the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church in their supreme duty of choosing a worthy successor to your Holiness, we renew our love and obedience to you, the Vicar of Christ on earth, and beg you, of your paternal goodness, in these final hours of your Pontificate, to grant the members of our parish your Apostolic Blessing. On behalf of all my parishioners, with filial affection, I remain,
Your obedient son in Christ,
(The Rev. Msgr.) Douglas A. Raun
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
Rio Rancho, N.M.