NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch’s family and friends attended mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Sunday – a favorite activity of the late Jewish mayor.
Koch’s longtime law partner James Gill says Saturday Koch’s sister, Pat Thaler, planned to sit in the same spot Koch regularly occupied in a front row pew Sunday.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrated Koch as a Jewish New Yorker who considered Catholics a “glue” that held the city together.
The head of the city’s Roman Catholic archdiocese remembered the former mayor at Sunday Mass.
Dolan spoke at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with Koch’s family and friends present.
The former mayor visited the cathedral regularly. And one day, Dolan said Koch told him that the Catholic Church was “the glue that holds this New York community together” with its parishes, schools, charities and outreach services.
If Koch were present, Dolan joked that he’d have noticed scaffolding for renovations and warned people that the cardinal would ask for money.
Gill says Koch loved attending mass and “loved being in that front row.” Koch was a close friend of the late Cardinal John O’Connor and St. Patrick’s held a seat at Midnight Mass for the mayor.
Gill says the event was meant to be an informal farewell, with no assigned seating.
Koch served as mayor for 12 years, beginning in 1978.
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