About 1,000 friends, fans and family members of New York's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan are converging in Rome as the popular prelate readies himself to be elevated to cardinal at St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday.
The elevation of the 62-year-old Dolan, who was tapped for the new title last month, will be covered live by the Catholic Channel starting at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday. The new cardinals will celebrate a mass with Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday. Dolan will remain the head of the New York Archdiocese of New York.
In an effort to streamline the ceremony and to avoid leaving the impression that the event is a "quasi sacrament," Dolan and 20 other archbishops will be promoted during a shortened ceremony in which the new cardinals will receive not just their scarlet hats, but their gold rings, according to Catholic newspapers. (In previous ceremonies, rings were bestowed the next day.)
"I've made many trips to Rome, but none quite like this one," Dolan told Sirius radio.