(VMO) Bishop Thomas Dowd celebrated the annual memorial Mass at St. Patrick's Basilica on Thursday for English-speaking priests in the diocese who have died in the past year.

"The good news is that none of the English-speaking priests passed away this year, although some have come close," the bishop told about  150 people who turned out for the noon time service.

The Mass was, however, celebrated  for Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte who was 78 when he died in April. In his homily, Bishop Dowd eulogized the Cardinal as a humble priest who dedicated his life to serving the church, ministered to the poor and  who would  often  celebrate Mass for the homeless at Christmas. 

The bishop appealed to the congregation to offer, "prayers of thanksgiving for the gift of the priesthood" and especially to pray for their  parish priests. 

"We need your prayers in a special way," he said.

"We all stand in judgement. That is as true of priests as it is for everyone else. We are all sinners." 

More than 30 priests were present for the Mass which was described as "a gathering of brother priests who pray for their brother priests."