Inside Holy Name Cathedral Sunday, with the help of fellow clergy, Francis Cardinal George celebrated his first mass since a week long hospital stay, brought on by an infection. It is a side effect of his chemotherapy.
“God always is a God of surprises he doesn’t always fit into our categories,” said the Cardinal.
The Cardinal only mentioned his illness once, at the end of mass. Thanking parishioners for their prayers and saying “it’s good to have them because sometimes it’s hard to pray for myself.”
It’s something we asked him about after greeting well-wishers outside, “It’s always easier to pray for other people, I find. And then i count on other people praying for me. That’s what it means to be a community of saints, a family, so I know they do. I get messages I get phone calls and people really do pray for me and I’m very grateful.”
The Cardinal says his last round of chemo went well, until the set back with flu-like symptoms put his busy public schedule on hold. Still, he says he plans to travel to rome for the cannonization of Pope John Paul the Second next month: “You know, when you’re in the hospital for a week and they keep flooding you with anti-biotics and fluids you get kind of washed out. So i feel washed out but I’m okay. I’m not in any pain or anything like that. I just need need to get some strength back.”
It’s strength he says he gets from being around the public, during the easter season, strength from the faithful, even if his doctors remain cautious about his health, “Every time you’re sick or something happens, you learn something, don’t you? And so I feel grateful for that new sense of who i am and what the future holds as best as we can tell.”