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Scarsdale Priest Cheers Archbishop's Elevation

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Rev. Sebastian Bacatan smiled Friday as he recalled his first meeting with New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who is set to become the eighth archbishop of New York to become a cardinal.

Bacatan said Dolan was in Scarsdale to celebrate a funeral Mass for the Rev. John O'Brien in December 2009.

"He stayed until everyone else was gone. He was the last person to leave the church," the St. Pius X Church pastor said. Afterward, Bacatan invited the archbishop to stay for a reception for the parish priests.

"He's very down to earth," said Bacatan. "He asked if there was beer. Just a regular guy."

Pope Benedict XVI announced Friday that Dolan will be elevated to cardinal in a Consistory to be held Feb. 18.

Dolan released a statement in which he said 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," he said in the statement, "and a summons to its unworthy archbishop to serve Jesus, His Church universal, His vicar on earth, and His people better."

"We're very excited, very happy," Bacatan said. The pastor said Dolan "always takes time to call each priest on their birthday. He does it himself, not through a secretary. That's just the kind of person he is. He's a very pastoral person, really very fatherly and caring."

Dolan is the eighth archbishop of New York to be named a cardinal. The first seven cardinal archbishops of New York were:

John Cardinal McCloskey (Archbishop 1864-1885; created cardinal 1875; first American cardinal.) John Cardinal Farley (Archbishop 1902-1918; created cardinal 1911) Patrick Cardinal Hayes (Archbishop 1919-1938; created cardinal 1924) Francis Cardinal Spellman (Archbishop 1939-1967; created cardinal 1946) Terence Cardinal Cooke (Archbishop 1968-1983; created cardinal 1969) John Cardinal O'Connor (Archbishop 1984-2000; created cardinal 1985) Edward Cardinal Egan (Archbishop 2000-2009; created cardinal 2001)

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