Saturday, February 25, 2012

For New York's Cardinal, A "Red Light Special"

While much has been made of Rome's memorable kvelling over the neo-Cardinale of New York this last week, with the Eminent Tim's return home from the consistory, now it's his own turf's turn.

And by the looks of it, the Eternal City's been trumped.

After a proposal to light the Empire State Building in red to celebrate the elevation of the Big Apple's eighth "Prince of the Church" was declined (to the fury of the papers; at right, the cover of today's Daily News), the builders of what'll soon be Manhattan's tallest skyscraper -- the 1,776-foot One World Trade, still under construction adjacent to Ground Zero -- quickly moved to flip the switch last night.

According to reports, the tribute will continue every evening for the next week. Notably, while a private group controls the Empire State lights, the One World Trade decision was made by its government-chartered owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Capping a week where his elevation even proved grist for Howard Stern and David Letterman alike, the "Red Light Special" comes just in time for Dolan's local celebrations of the red hat, which begin in St Patrick's Cathedral later today.

The 10.45am Midmorning Prayer and 4pm Mass will be limited to ticket-only crowds.

Today's rites are just the kickoff of a thanksgiving tour that'll continue around the 2.6 million-member Gotham church during Lent before going national after Easter.

On 28 April, the new cardinal will head back to his former charge of Milwaukee for a Mass at the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians on Holy Hill, which was named a minor basilica on his recommendation in 2006. Then, a week later brings what'll likely be the most emotional return of all, in the cathedral-basilica of Dolan's hometown of St Louis -- the "Rome of the West," of course -- where he was ordained an auxiliary bishop in August 2001.

SVILUPPO: A full report on today's homecoming liturgies, including fullvideo of both Dolan homilies, is now posted.

PHOTOS: Chris Sheridan/Catholic New York(3)