‘It’s Tim on line 1’

If you place a call or send an email to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, you have a real good chance of getting your call returned.

You might even hear, “Hey, it’s Tim.”

Stories are flying about New York’s new archbishop reaching out to anyone and everyone, including people who have been calling or writing simply to wish him well.

He’s even called people to decline invitations to various events. Heck, I’ve never been able to get parents to RSVP for my kids’ birthday parties.

This is a very social being who were are meeting here.

Plans are taking shape for Dolan to host a series of barbeques at St. Joseph’s Seminary — two for diocesan priests, one for priests, nuns and brothers from religious orders, and one for permanent deacons and their spouses.

This much is clear: The man is going to talk.

But what is he going to say?

We’ll get a preview, I guess, at his press conference on the morning of the Mass of Installation on April 15.

Details on the Big Installation

Just back from a press briefing in NYC on the upcoming installation of Archbishop Dolan on April 14 and 15.

Some tidbits:

  • Near the start of the Solemn Vespers prayer service at 7 p.m. on the 14th, Archbishop Dolan will literally knock on the great doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Various cardinals and archbishops and Bishop Dennis Sullivan, vicar general of the archdiocese, will be waiting just inside the doors. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the papal ambassador to the U.S., will present Dolan to Cardinal Egan, who will then  “welcome” his successor on behalf of the people of New York.
  • Officials are trying to figure out how to make the knock audible to the almost 2,500 people inside.
  • Dolan’s second-grade teacher, Sister Mary Bosco Daly, will be coming in from Ireland to give a short reading at the prayer service. She is 90.
  • Most dignitaries — religious and civil — are expected for the Mass of Installation on the 15th, not for Vespers the evening before.
  • Intercession prayers will be made in several languages, including Akan, Korean, Portuguese, German and Mandarin.
  • For each event, each parish in the archdiocese will be given two tickets for laypeople.
  • Sambi, the apostolic nuncio, will play a big role throughout.
  • There will be great ecumenical and interreligious participation — but no Jews. Passover will not conclude until April 15. But…on Monday the 20th, Dolan will take part in a Holocaust memorial service at Central Synagogue in NYC.
  • But you can expect Episcopalians, Lutherans, and plenty of Orthodox bishops, not to mention Muslims, Buddhists and others.
  • The opening process for the Mass on the 15 promises to be LONG and colorful.
  • Dolan is expected to use two historical croziers (the bishop’s staff), one that belonged to Archbishop Michael Corrigan (the boss from 1885 to 1902) and one that belonged to Cardinal Patrick Hayes (the boss from 1919 to 1938). Officials are looking for a pectoral cross with historical meaning.
  • The Mass, since it will be during the Easter season, will be the same Mass celebrated around the world that day. No tinkering.
  • Dolan will wear white vestments for the season.
  • At the Mass, the Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will sing Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus (and he’ll knock them out of the park, so to speak).
  • Dolan’s mother, siblings, nieces and nephews, and buddies will be in the front rows, and there will be plenty of Milwaukeeans around.
  • Among invitees to the Mass: mayors across the archdiocese; the governor, both U.S. senators, congresspeople, and others.
  • On the day he was named, Dolan said that he invited the president during a phone call of congratulations. But it does not appear that Obama is coming.
  • Dolan will become archbishop at the Mass when the chancellor of the archdiocese — former Rockland Vicar Monsignor William Belford — notarizes a letter from the pope.
  • Dolan will celebrate Mass at the cathdral on Sunday, April 19, the first Sunday after he takes over the show.
  • Joe Zwilling, longtime spokesman for the archdiocese, said that Dolan will “hit the ground running” with a packed schedule for his first few weeks in NY. We’ll know soon what he’ll be doing.
  • Cardinal Egan, Zwilling said, wants to stay in the background throughout.
  • Dolan will hold a press conference on the morning of the 15th. Yeah, he likes to talk.
  • Dolan will be in Rome on June 29 to get his new pallium, a wool vestment given to metropolitan archbishops, who oversee neighboring dioceses in a region.
  • That’s enough for now….

It’s Dolan

It’s official. Another Irishman.

As we’ve been waiting to hear for weeks, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is coming to New York.

The Vatican just announced it.

He’s only 59 — so he could be here for a long time.

Here’s the storyline for the next 24-48 hours: Dolan is an outgoing, affable fellow whom everyone will get to see and hear in the public square after the low-key tenure of Cardinal Egan.

You’re going to hear it and read it over and over and over (including from me). So get used to it.


Dolan will be at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 8 a.m.

He’s be at a press conference at 11 a.m. at the Catholic Center.

And he’ll be coming to YONKERS — St. Joseph’s Seminary — at 5 p.m. Solemn vespers with the seminarians.

Dolan will be installed on April 15.

Catholic University loves Dolan. CU President the Rev. David M. O’Connell says:


“His personal warmth, hearty laugh and great sense of humor enrich his own pastoral gifts and enable him to love and be loved by those he serves as priest and bishop. It would be rare that a person would not immediately feel at ease in his presence. In the great Archdiocese of New York, Archbishop Dolan is perfectly suited to respond to the marvelous opportunities it provides for a renewed evangelization as well as to its unique challenges as one of the nation’s largest and most diverse archdioceses. He has a profound understanding of the role and responsibilities that define the Catholic priesthood and episcopacy and he will respond to his priests with the concern and care of both a brother and a father.

If the appointment of the archbishop of New York could ever be scripted, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan would truly be cast in the role. Obviously, the Holy Father feels the same way.”


Here’s the first statement from the New Boss, from the archdiocese:

“My brother bishops, priests, religious women and men, seminarians, committed Catholics of this wonderful Church, I pledge to you my love, my life, my heart, and I can tell you already that I love you, I need so much your prayers and support, I am so honored, humbled, and happy to serve as your pastor.”


More love from Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services (Dolan has been chairman since December 2007):

“I could not be happier for the people of New York.

Archbishop Dolan will be in his element in New York – he’s fast-paced, energetic, quick-witted and passionate about his ministry. He made a strong positive impression on the staff at Catholic Relief Services from day one; he’ll do the same in New York.

Although he leads a busy Archdiocese in Milwaukee, Archbishop Dolan devoted considerable attention to his work with CRS. In just the last year he traveled to the field twice. In May he went to Ethiopia, where he met with people suffering from the twin blows of the global food crisis and devastating drought. And last month, he traveled to India to see CRS programs and to witness our longstanding collaboration with the Missionaries of Charity.

As Archbishop Dolan moves to New York, he goes to a city with a long CRS connection. Our headquarters was in New York for 46 years, from our founding in 1943 until we moved to Baltimore in 1989. We were first located in the Empire State Building and in the early 1970s, we moved to the Catholic Center, where Archbishop Dolan will have his offices. So as he moves to New York, Archbishop will remain linked to us in history.

I’m confident Archbishop Dolan will bring to New York what he has brought to CRS as our Chairman: dedication to the Church, tremendous energy, a warm sense of humor, and deep compassion for the poor and vulnerable.”