The cardinal-in-waiting seemed to be in heaven on Tuesday when he took relatives and reporters to the roof of his old seminary for a view of the Eternal City.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” he exulted at the 360-degree views from Janiculum Hill. “There’s St. Peter’s Basilica!”
Thatâ€™s where Pope Benedict XVI will elevate Dolan to cardinal on Saturday. He gazed at it from the Pontifical North American College, where he was rector for seven years.
He joked that the college was outmatched by the other seminaries in Rome â€” on the soccer field.
â€œSoccer just isn’t the biggest American sport. In fact, our team was called the North American Martyrs,” he quipped.
Dolan was in Rome until 2001 and told the News that it â€œkinda feels like home.â€
“This is one of the happiest weeks of my life,â€ he said, but admitted, â€œI’ll be glad when it’s over and I can go back to New York and back to work.”
In fact, he wore reminders of home: a Giants cap and a jacket from the NYPD Emerald Society.
His younger brother Bob, who has flown in from Milwaukee for Saturdayâ€™s ceremony, started busting the archbishopâ€™s chops about his attire.
“You’re meeting all the New York media and you wear a windbreaker?” Bob quipped.
“Look out,” the archbishop stage-whispered to John Allen Jr., a Catholicism expert and his co-author on â€œA People of Hope.â€
â€œI think Bob’s book is doing better than ours is.”
The younger Dolan, who wrote a book titled “Life Lessons” about the family is among 50 relatives who will be at the Vatican for the consistory.
That includes the prelateâ€™s 84-year-old mother Shirley. [More]