A special service was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral Saturday morning to celebrate the elevation of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
He was welcomed with a standing ovation as he made his grand entrance into the cathedral, just one week after being elevated to Cardinal in a ceremony in Rome last week. There, he emerged as something of the star of the consistory, delivering a highly praised speech on spreading the faith and mentioned in some Italian media as an improbable "papabile," or having the qualities of a future pope.
His reception at St. Patrick's Saturday was just as enthusiastic. When the applause calmed down, Dolan thanked the Catholic community for their continued faith.
"The honor given to me last Saturday only came because I happen to be one of you," he said.
Dolan's remarks often sparked laughter among the congregation as he spoke with humility and humor about the love he's received leading up his elevation.
He recounted a story about two city sanitation workers who greeted him while they were working.
They "jumped out and they came up to me and said, 'Are you the new cardinal?,'" he said. "And I said, 'Yes, I am!' And they said, 'Congratulations, we're happy for you! Can we have our picture taken with you?'"
Over 2,500 people were in attendance for the special service, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Charles Schumer and Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Parishioners who had tickets for the service were eager to see the new Cardinal before the special service.
"Very excited, I couldn't even eat breakfast this morning," said Alma Parris-Cochrane, who attends Mass at St. Patrick's regularly. "I can't wait to see him up there. I think he's such a people person. That's what I love about him."
She said Dolan once called her to offer his prayers when her daughter was sick in the hospital.
"For a little person like me, that's a clerk -- for him to call and check on my daughter, I appreciate it," she said. "That's why I'm here to support him."
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey lit the unfinished 1 World Trade Center red on Friday in Dolan's honor.
The cardinal also led a mass at St. Patrick's at 4 p.m.