NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s home church is getting ready for his return.
For New York Catholics, Dolan’s joining the College of Cardinals is a time of celebration.
“I think it’s fantastic. He’s a great man and it’s great for the city,” said parishioner James Daly.
“Being a Roman Catholic it’s very impressive and to see the traditions continue,” another parishioner told CBS 2′s Mary Calvi.
One of those traditions includes a color change on the altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Workers spent Friday changing the color of the bishop’s throne, which sits on the altar, as well as the color of carpeting around the throne itself from green to red.
Red reflects Dolan’s new status as Cardinal.
“Red is used liturgically for Catholics for feasts of martyrs and for the Holy Spirit, so if you’re becoming a Cardinal, you’re getting ready to shed your blood. But also the Holy Spirit guides the Church, so as the Archbishop is elevated to be a cardinal, we’re praying the Holy Spirit will continue to guide him,” Father Joseph Tyrrell said.
Cardinal Dolan’s new coat of arms was revealed. The galero, which is the hat at the top, changes from green to red. Another row of tassels has been added to either side, again a reflection of Dolan’s new title.
The changes have re-invigorated Catholics as they prepare to welcome the new Cardinal home. For the first groups to enter the Cathedral after the elevation, this was a significant moment.
“I’m excited to be at St. Patrick’s Cathedral today on such a momentous occasion, because I know it is a big deal to have a cardinal. It’s a rare occurrence. It’s exciting,” said parishioner Michelle Colby.
“I think it’s such an important moment and to be part of it is really cool,” said Tess Colby.
“It’s really cool since we came all the way from North Carolina and now we’re here on the day that it’s changing. It’s really cool to be here and witness that,” said Amanda Price.
St. Peter’s Basilica will celebrate a Papal Mass of Thanksgiving and papal blessing Sunday.
On Monday, Cardinal Dolan will be made available to the media. He’ll celebrate mass, and then hold a farewell dinner.
Finally on Tuesday, the Cardinal will fly back to New York City, and will return to St. Patrick’s in time for Ash Wednesday.
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