NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The 1.5 million Roman Catholics in the Newark archdiocese welcomed a cardinal as their new shepherd Friday.
A Mass was celebrated Friday to install Cardinal Joseph Tobin as the sixth archbishop of Newark. Tobin succeeds Archbishop John Myers, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July.
Tobin’s installation was held Friday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. It began with Tobin knocking three times on the basilica’s door, representing the trinity of the church. The opening of the door is symbolic of the door that leads to heaven.
Among those in attendance were more than 500 priests.
Pope Francis elevated Tobin to cardinal in November. He is the first cardinal in the 163-year history of the archdiocese.
The two share priorities, believing the church should focus on humility and service of the poor.
The pope’s representative to the Vatican in the United States read a letter from the pope, saying ” we judge that you are suitable to govern the city of Newark.”
Previously, Tobin was the archbishop of Indianapolis, where he opposed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who wanted to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in the state. Pence is now vice president-elect.
Tobin, 60, grew up in a big Irish Catholic family. He was born and raised in Detroit with eight sisters and four brothers.
He will be leading a vastly diverse diocese, with churches that say mass in 20 languages. In an interview with CBS2’s Meg Baker on Thursday, he gave a colorful preview of his approach to the faithful.
“People in my business should have the smell of the sheep, what it means is you should be close enough to people to know what they are up against,” Tobin said.
The cardinal will reside in a residence with other priests, but he said most of his time will be spent out on the road visiting parishes across our state.
The Newark archdiocese serves Roman Catholics in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties.
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