It's official: Chicago has a new cardinal.
The ceremony to transform Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich into a cardinal took place on Saturday at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Cupich was one of 17 archbishops from around the world to be handpicked by Pope Francis and elevated this weekend.
"[The Pope] called me aside before the ceremony," Cupich said. "We exchanged greetings, and I just told him that Chicago is with him and he can count on us. He told me that he was pleased that I said yes to Chicago, and he’s pleased the way things are going and wants us to be successful in what we’re doing.”
Cupich said he's walking away with a renewed mission for the City of Chicago.
“I know that we have very serious issues, but we also have a lot of good going on in Chicago and I think we need to start there," Cupich said. He said there are many groups already doing good work helping people in need, from children in poverty to the homeless. “There are many organizations that do a great amount of good in educating young people, so let’s build on that, that’s where I want to start.”
During the ceremony, members of choirs from two Chicago parishes were singing, including Father Scott Haynes of St. John Cantius.
“I was just thinking, I can’t believe I’m here," Haynes said.
Emma Lee, 18, of Chicago, also lent her voice to the celebration.
“Oh my gosh, so surreal," Lee said. "It’s just incredible. It’s just amazing. I can’t even put it into words.”