The text of his decree follows:
Whereas, following the death of the great Pope John Paul II, the faithful fervently asked His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to raise his predecessor to the dignity of the altars, and
Whereas, when, after the appropriate investigations into his life and holiness were complete, the Holy See set the date for the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II and received numerous requests from the faithful requesting permission to celebrate the memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II in locations outside of Vatican City State and Poland, where his memorial has been placed on the local calendars of liturgical celebrations, and
Whereas, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in the Decree on the Liturgical Observance of the Cult of Blessed John Paul, Pope of April 2, 2011, has granted to Diocesan Bishops permission to allow the celebration of the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving to God for the gift of Blessed Pope John II on the days and in the places of his choosing within the time of a year following his beatification, and
Whereas the College of Cardinals gathered in Conclave elected then Karol Cardinal Wojtyła to the See of Peter on October 16, 1978,
Therefore I, Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, by the grace of God and the Apostolic See Bishop of Springfield in Illinois, hereby decree Sunday, October 16, 2011 to be observed as a Day of Thanksgiving to God in all of the parishes, churches, shrines and chapels within the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for the life, teaching and ministry of Blessed Pope John Paul II and that Masses be celebrated in honor of Blessed Pope John Paul II.
In accord with the Decree on the Liturgical Observance of the Cult of Blessed John Paul, Pope, the Collect [Opening Prayer] is to be prayed in honor of the blessed; the Preface, antiphons, first reading, Psalm, Alleluia verse and Gospel readings are taken from the Common of Pastors, For a Pope (all of which accompany this decree); the second reading shall be taken from the Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A. This Mass is to be celebrated both on the evening of October 15, 2011 at the anticipated Masses for Sunday and throughout the day of October 16, 2011.
, this 22th day of the month of August in the Year of Our Lord, 2011, the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. Springfield, Illinois
Most Reverend Thomas John PaprockiBishop of