It was a commitment he made months ago, Francis Cardinal George kept it. Leading the confirmation mass at St. Clements in Lincoln Park.
A day after telling the public that his kidney cancer was back, and that he`s fighting it with aggressive chemotherapy, the 77-year-old explained, with a touch of humor why he needed to sit for most of the mass.
“One of the consequences of this stage of the chemo treatment is a slight dizziness… so it would be very dramatic if I were to fall over, it would take away from your day.”
The Cardinal joined the families in celebration telling us he hopes to keep a public schedule when he can.
“I’m the Archbishop of Chicago, these are my people so I gather strength from them and I hope that in my own way I can give them strength as well.”
Cardinal George was treated for bladder cancer in 2006. In 2012, it was found in his kidney and liver, through it all, he kept a public schedule.
Two years ago, as required at the age of 75, he submitted his resignation to pope benedict, he does not know when or if Pope Francis will act upon it.
“I think he`s been willing to wait, for various reason. Also, I would like to finish the campaign at least get a good way through it, to teach who Christ is and solidify the finances and a few other things that are on the way but Ii would like to finish some of that, anyway. We`ll see.”
It`s a message of hope, with a more public acknowledgment that this time and it may be different.
Still, he wants to keep up his work, as the head of archdiocese he`s led since 1997.
“The goal of our life is to live with the Lord here and forever and I look forward to that with some anticipation. I don`t look forward to the pain of dying, but that`s part of it.”
In Lincoln Park, Sean Lewis, WGN News.