LISTEN: Cardinal Dolan on 1st public Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's in 3 months: 'Nothing is like the real thing'

Glenn Schuck
June 27, 2020 - 6:06 pm
Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A public Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Sunday morning for the first time since March, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan leading the service.

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The cathedral halted in-person services three months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic, with daily livestreams taking their place.

Sunday’s Mass, which will take place at 10:15 a.m., will still be limited to 25 percent capacity and also streamed online.

Cardinal Dolan spoke with 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck on Saturday about the significance of having people back in the cathedral and what his message will be.

Dolan said worshipers can still expect to see restrictions in place because of the coronavirus.

“It’s still a little restricted, as you know, because we’re trying to keep the social distance, with the sanitation, and we want to make sure that the churches aren’t jammed with people,” Dolan said. “But so far, we’ve been able to do that. The folks, as eager as they are to get back to the Mass and sacraments, they’re also admirably cautious, especially some of our elder people who are saying, ‘I think I’ll wait a little longer,’ which makes sense. But it’s good to see people coming back.”

Dolan said he likes to connect with people, so it’s been difficult for him to keep his distance these past few months.

“It’s still a difficult time for me, because while I’m thrilled to be there to offer Mass to the folks, I’m still unable to kind of greet them and shake their hands and ask how they’re doing and get close to them, because we’re keeping the social distancing,” he said. “But the Mass and sacraments are a lot more powerful and essential than me shaking people’s hands, so this is a great weekend.”

Dolan said he’s thrilled to be able to see worshippers again at church.

“I am excited just to be able to walk into that church,” he said. “Just to walk in there and to see the people and to see their smiles and their eagerness to be back at Sunday Mass.”

“I don’t want to take anything away from the creativity and pastoral innovation that’s gone on the last 14 weeks, with the livestreamed Masses and everything,” Dolan added. “People really appreciated that, but nothing is like the real thing. So this is great.”

Without giving too much of his homily away, Dolan said his message Sunday will have to do with hospitality.

“Of course, we always take our cue from the readings of the Bible,” Dolan said. “This Sunday, Jesus speaks to us about hospitality. Hospitality. Welcoming people. And I’m going to speak on that. That’s a Biblical virtue. We’ve done it as a country. We do it as a city and a community here in New York. To be good to other people, welcome them in, to make them feel part of the family.”

His message for people after three months of the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown?

“Fourteen weeks ago, we were saying, ‘When’s this going to end? Are we going to be able to get through this? Is God going to come through with his grace, his blessing, his protection?’ We’ve got to be honest, there were times we wondered if he were,” Dolan said. “But now we’re saying, ‘Thanks be to God, we got through.’”

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