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Churches preparing to honor Pope

A nine-day period of mourning, which includes funeral Masses and prayer services for Pope John Paul II, will be observed by Catholics around the world, including services in each of the 157 parishes in the Toledo diocese.

The Pope decreed in his 1996 Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, that "after the death of the Roman Pontiff, the cardinals will celebrate the funeral rites for the repose of his soul for nine consecutive days."

According to Msgr. James P. Moroney of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "In parish churches, the Holy Eucharist will be offered for the repose of his soul, while individuals, at home and in shrines, will ask God to bestow his infinite mercy on the man who taught us the way of mercy."

There is a discrepancy, however, on when the novena, or nine-day mourning period, officially begins. The U.S. bishops conference' Web site (www.usccb.org) states that it begins with the Pope's funeral Mass in Rome, scheduled for 10 a.m. Rome time (4 a.m. Toledo) Friday, while the Vatican Web site (www.vatican.va) said the mourning period starts with the Pontiff's death, which was Saturday.

Local diocesan officials said they were checking into the discrepancy yesterday afternoon, but in the meantime announced a partial list of prayer services and funeral Masses for the Pope.

Catholic schools in the diocese will have a regular day of class on Friday, the day of the Pontiff's funeral, according to Sally Oberski, director of communications for the diocese.

Here is a list of funeral Masses and prayer services for Pope John Paul II scheduled as of yesterday afternoon:

Today

8:15 a.m.: Toledo, St. Clement school Mass

8:15 a.m.: Sandusky, Holy Angels

8:30 a.m.: Tiffin, St. Mary School Mass

9:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.: Carey, Our Lady of Consolation Mass

6:30 p.m.: Toledo, St. Adalbert, Novena of our Our Lady of Czestochowa, 6:45 p.m. Mass

6:45 p.m.: Lima, St. Charles

7 p.m.: St. Joseph, Sylvania

7:15 p.m.: Kalida, St. Michael

Tomorrow

9:16 and 10:06 a.m.: Toledo, St. Francis de Sales High School

2:10 p.m.: Bowling Green, St. Aloysius

6 p.m.: Bowling Green, St. Thomas More

6 p.m.: Mansfield, St. Mary

7 p.m.: Findlay, St. Michael at Bright Road

7 p.m.: Frenchtown, St. Nicholas

7 p.m.: Lima, St. Gerard

7 p.m.: North Baltimore, Holy Family

7 p.m.: Perrysburg, St. Rose

7 p.m.: Tiffin, St. Joseph

7 p.m.: Toledo, St. Vincent de Paul

Friday

9 a.m.: Toledo, St. Joan of Arc Elementary School

8 a.m.: New Riegel, St. Boniface

Noon: Wauseon, St. Caspar, prayer service

7 p.m.: Bellevue, Sorrowful Mother Shrine

Saturday

8 a.m.: Alvada, St. Peter

Sunday

10:30 a.m.: Montpelier, Sacred Heart

Monday

8 a.m.: Vermilion, St. Mary

Tuesday

7 p.m.: Maumee, St. Joseph

April 17

10:30 a.m.: Wauseon, St. Caspar, Mass

April 22

10:30 a.m.: Blakeslee, St. Joseph, Children's Mass

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