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Tuckahoe Priest Praises New Cardinal

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Rev. Eric Raaser, pastor of The Assumption Church and Immaculate Conception Church, said he could not be happier at the news that Archbishop Timothy Dolan will soon be Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

"It is such a great honor for him and a great honor for the church of New York." Raaser said. "It's a big day for us here in New York."

Raaser was reacting to the news that Pope Benedict XVI has announced that His Excellency the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, will be elevated to the dignity of cardinal in a ceremony to be held at the Vatican in Rome on February 18, 2012.

Dolan visited Assumption Church in September and said mass in honor of the church's 100-year anniversary.

As he walked down the aisle on the way to the sanctuary, Dolan stopped to chat with celebrants, shaking hands, and smiling.

"He is so good with people," Raaser said. "He loves bringing God to the people."

Dolan is only the eighth archbishop of New York to be elevated to a cardinal. The first was John Cardinal McCloskey, who was given the title in 1875, and who was also the first American cardinal.

Dolan's predecessor. Edward Cardinal Egan, was name cardinal in 2001.

Raaser said Dolan is one of the hardest working priests he knows. "He is a great priest, a model for other priests," Raaser said.

Dolan released a statement today in which he expressed his gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI, saying that he is "honored, humbled, and grateful." He also thanked the people of the Archdiocese of New York. "This is about an affirmation of love from the pope to a celebrated archdiocese and community, and a summons to its unworthy archbishop to serve Jesus, His Church universal, His vicar on Earth, and His people better."

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