Red Hats

Tomorrow Timothy Dolan will become Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as he is elevated by Pope Benedict and receives his red biretta, his ring, and his titular church.

If it was earlier in the evening or if I didn’t have to be on the road by 5:45 tomorrow morning to teach hungry souls, I would wax eloquently about any number of things, including the acceptance of the possibility of martyrdom each of these men accepts:

“To the praise of God, and the honor of the Apostolic See
receive the red biretta, the sign of the cardinal’s dignity;
and know that you must be willing to conduct yourselves with fortitude
even to the shedding of your blood:
for the growth of the Christian faith,
the peace and tranquility of the People of God,
and the freedom and spread of the Holy Roman Church.”

or the honor bestowed on Cardinal-designate Dolan, who was asked to address the Cardinals and the Holy Father today (full text here, and it’s well-worth a read), or the new design of the rings this year, or the fact that I wish I was in Rome right now because I’ve always wanted to wander around the Apostolic Palace (and you have the opportunity to do so during the consistory, when they open up various rooms of the Palace and each Cardinal greets visitors), or how much I’ve enjoyed the special consistory broadcasts from Vatican Radio on the Catholic Channel with Lino Rulli from the Catholic Guy Show and Father Dave and Brett from the Busted Halo show.

But it’s late, so I just want to say how happy I am that Cardinal-designate Dolan’s titular church is Our Lady of Guadalupe.   If I had time, I would tell you all about titular churches, but instead I direct you to my JoaninRome post when I attended Mass with Cardinal DiNardo when he accepted his titular church, San Eusebio.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is sort of on the outskirts of Rome, near the Cornelia metrostop.  I’m rather surprised it was chosen – I don’t think it’s been a titular before now (although I could be wrong), and I can’t imagine many people have even heard of it.  It’s a wonderful choice for the obvious reason that Our Lady is patroness of the Americas, but I am particularly pleased with the choice because not only have I been there, I have rather fond memories of it.

(That’s not the greatest picture in the world, but I remember snapping it quickly because I felt out of place taking it, given that the church has probably had very few “tourists” snapping pictures.  I felt like I was screaming “I’m a visitor! I’m an American!  Look at me!” when I took it after Mass.)

When I was studying in Rome in 2005 with Christendom, Our Lady of Guadalupe was just down the street from our home at Casa la Salle.   They had an evening Mass that many of us frequented, especially towards the end of the semester when the Lenten station Masses were over and the novelty of riding the bus into the city for an evening Mass had worn off.   It became our little parish, in a sense, and we began to recognize the priests (there was an Irish priest there who heard confessions in English) and began to feel a little at home there.

I had forgotten about the little church (“new” by Rome standards) until I read that Cardinal-designate Dolan had spilled the beans early about his titular church.

I think another pilgrimage is in store.

UPDATE: Please remember to keep these new Cardinals, the Holy Father, and all the leaders of our Church in your prayers.  These won’t be easy days up ahead.

UPDATE 2: Never mind – you can ignore half of this post.  It’s a different church to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Phooey.

(If you’re interested in following the consistory coverage, especially the coverage of Cardinal-designate Dolan and his entourage, I’d highly recommend


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