LISTEN: Cardinal Dolan On 1st Public Sunday Mass At St. Patrick’s Cathedral Since March

WCBS 880 Newsroom
June 27, 2020 - 3:05 pm
Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – 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.

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 WCBS 880's Kevin Rincon on Saturday about what it means to have people returning to the cathedral.

“It is really joyful. It is really hopeful. We’re looking forward to it,” Dolan said. “Actually, we’ve been back at it for the last two weeks in the upper counties. We’ve been stricter in the city, understandably since it was the epicenter.”

Dolan said he’s heard from a lot of people who are eager to return for in-person services.

“Even from the human point of view, for the last 14 weeks, all I’ve been hearing with folks with whom I chat on the phone or Zoom or whatever is, ‘When can we get back to Sunday Mass?’” Dolan said.

Dolan said the church has been very careful about taking precautions to stop the spread of the virus. He said services have been at 25 percent capacity, hand sanitizer has been everywhere and people have been social distancing—measures that will still be in place on Sunday.

“We have been so scrupulous getting out the guidelines and the protective measures,” Dolan said. “I mean, if people can get to a supermarket, if people can get to outside dining and keep the safe distance and keep health and mind, we’re able to do it within the church. With what we’ve been through the last 14 weeks, I’m glad we were strict.”

Dolan said the virus has been a challenge for people, even testing the faith of some.

“I’ll hear from a lot of people, they’ll say, ‘Oh my Lord, this is getting to me. Where is God in all this? I just lost grandma. We were unable to even be there around her beside when we went to the cemetery. We couldn’t even embrace and cry together. So, where’s the Lord in all this?’”

But Dolan said he also hears from people who said the virus has strengthened their faith.

“On the other hand, you keep hearing people saying, ‘Cardinal Dolan, I’ve rediscovered an interior resilience and strength. I’ve detected a new hunger for the Lord and for the faith and for church. I’m sensing God’s presence and grace,’” he said. “People are saying he came through the health care professionals, our first responders, our police officers, our teachers, our essential workers, our family, neighbors, friends.”

“It was a tough, tough journey,” Dolan said. “But now that we begin to sense a rescue and an end to all this, we’re saying, ‘Thank God.’”