By Juliet Papa
Heading to Rome is a special treat for me.
I look forward to visiting the the Eternal City once again. But imagine what this is like for New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan?
EXTRA: Dolan’s Remarks Following Selection
Oh, he’s been to Rome many times as he’s dealt with matters of the Church – but this is now about the matter of what he chooses to describe as his “higher calling.”
The Archbishop of nearly three million Catholics in the New York metropolitan area will be elevated to Cardinal in special ceremonies next month.
Pope Benedict the XVI made it official Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the day that celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings with gifts to the Baby Jesus. And the significance of the day wasn’t lost on Archbishop Dolan, who said at the end of Mass that the appointment was a “special gift” he was humbled and honored to receive.
He will be elevated to the position of Cardinal at St. Peter’s Basilica – the grand and gracious cornerstone of the Catholic Church.
It’s where Popes are buried and people make their pilgrimages, reminded of the humility and majesty of their faith. Those premises dovetail perfectly in one particular place in St. Peter’s; at the simple tomb of of Pope John Paul II in San Sebastian’s Chapel.
I was fortunate to view it when I visited Rome this summer – and even though I got to St. Peter’s late to avoid the crowds, the crowds were paying respects and saying their prayers in front of that altar. It will be another stopping point, no doubt when New York’s faithful follow Timothy Dolan to Rome.