"We want to reinforce them through our prayers so that they know that all of the people - not only the Diocese of Erie - but all throughout the world are praying that the Holy Spirit will guide and direct them in choosing the new Holy Father," Bishop Lawrence Persico, leader of the Diocese of Erie, said.
Pope Benedict is the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years. Whenever a new pope is going be announced, there is a "transition mass," but this mass is different.
"It's not as somber because of the fact that Benedict XVI didn't die," Persico said.
Instead the atmosphere was light, and full of optimism in the selection of the next leader.
"He had his reasons, I'm sure they'll pick someone that is suitable," parishioner Fred Betza said.