Cardinal Timothy Dolan hit the ground running when he returned from Rome this week. On his first full day as cardinal in New York City, he put aside the Vatican-issue red cassock in favor of something more simple: a white apron.
The new cardinal was up early on Ash Wednesday, serving out breakfast to the poor on the St. Francis of Assisi Breadline in midtown Manhattan.
From a N.Y. Post story:
The new cardinal joined the daily breadline, which usually feeds about 375 people, as he handed out roast beef sandwiches, fruit cups, orange juice and coffee.
“This means a lot more to me than the red cassock because it’s for love and charity,” Dolan said as he donned a white apron before passing out breakfast. “What better place to be on Ash Wednesday than with the poor. This is what it’s all about, love of God and love of neighbor.”
Later on, during Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, the cardinal managed to bring his signature informal everyman style to the pomp and circumstance of the moment. Ten-year-old Chris Sweeney was at the cathedral with his mom in hopes of simply catching a glimpse of Cardinal Dolan at his first New York Mass as cardinal, but he got so much more. The boy, whose father was at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the time, was invited to serve as an altar boy.
From another N.Y. Post story:
Dolan urged the brave little boy to keep the faith. Then he took the family’s phone number and promised to call his dad and pray with him.
Chris described his meeting with the cardinal as “unexpected” and “exciting,” not to mention, “a very cool experience.”
Meanwhile, Rocky Sweeney had fallen asleep at the hospital during his treatment.
“When I woke up, I saw a text from my wife: ‘Chris is serving,’ ” he said. “It was surreal.”
The proud dad said, “I cried when I saw [pictures of Dolan and Chris], and I’m crying now.”
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