“As grateful as I am for being a Cardinal, I really want to be a saint,”Cardinal Dolan said to the media after the Feb. 18 ceremony. “I mean that, and I’ve got a long way to go but it is all about holiness, it is all about friendship with Jesus and it is all about being a saint. And that’s what I want to be.”
Cardinal Dolan said he was particularly moved by the announcement of two new American saints at the conclusion of the consistory.
In total, Pope Benedict announced seven new saints who will be canonized on Oct. 21. The group includes Blesseds Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha, who will become the first Native American to be declared a saint.
Cardinal Dolan said he recognized this week that his elevation means having to resist the unholy lure of power and prestige.
“I said, ‘Dolan you got temptations.’ I’ve always had them, but now I’ve got one that could go to my head – literally,” he said, pointing to his new red biretta hat. He told himself,” ‘you can’t (let that happen) because it is all about humility and it is all about service and love and staying close to God and his people. That’s what it’s about it’s not about power and prestige.’”
Standing on the steps of the Pontifical North American College, he recalled being particularly taken aback when he attempted to hang his new soutane in his wardrobe earlier this week. There he found a red cassock belonging to the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, who died this past month.
“And I thought to myself, ‘Dolan, in the future somebody is going to be taking down your stuff because you are going to be gone.’ And that is what it is all about. It is all about eternity. It is not about all these passing things.”
What we do here has to be about eternity, or it is not quite right. He may be a cardinal now, but each and every one of us is called to sainthood.