Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Patrick, Make Us Worthy of This Cathedral...."

As this blessed feast brought the beginning of a drive for the future of the nation's most iconic house of worship of any faith, it was rather conspicuous that the preaching honors on its patronal day were outsourced... at least, of sorts.

Despite it being his first St Patrick's Day clad in scarlet, Cardinal Tim Dolan gave New York's feast-day pulpit to a native son of the city -- the likewise freshly-elevated Edwin Cardinal O'Brien: a son of the Bronx ordained by Spellman, once priest-secretary to Cardinals O'Connor and Cooke and spokesman for the Gotham church, later rector of Dunwoodie and the Pontifical North American College, then a hometown auxiliary and the 15th archbishop of Baltimore, now the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, only the second non-European in a thousand years to hold the prime post responsible for supporting the Catholic presence in the Holy Land.

With his entrance into the College last month, the 72 year-old became the first native New Yorker to don the red hat since another "Cookie" secretary -- now Washington's retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- was elevated at the 2001 intake. This time around, though, for all the celebrated exuberance and charisma the junior American of the latest Consistory Class brings to Pope's Senate, the senior one's quiet elegance, thoughtfulness and diligence are just as crucial to the mix.

Along those lines,
as a packed church looked on in the place that's been called his "wheelhouse," here's fullvid of the new cardinal's sterling, resonant, historically rich homecoming preach from The Great Gotham Pulpit:

As previously noted, despite his hometown ties, O'Brien will keep his American base in Baltimore, where he remains in the reins of the Premier See until the installation of his yet-unnamed successor.

PHOTOS: Reuters