Parishioners find inspiration in Cardinal George

April 20, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Hours before the start of Easter mass, the faithful flocked to Holy Name Cathedral to see Cardinal Francis George celebrate what could be his last mass as Chicago's sitting archbishop.

Sunday morning, the cardinal not only delivered a message of healing through faithfullness in god, but also thanked parishioners for their prayers and continued support.

For some Easter mass at Holy Name Cathedral has become a tradition.

"It's always nice to come back. I call this home," said parishioner Stephen Grud.

"It's not about the baskets and our clothes or things like that. It's about Christ Jesus," said parishioner Carl Booker.

Worshippers arrived early and lined up around the block Sunday morning to attend the Easter Mass which could be one of the last Francis Cardinal George celebrates as a sitting archbishop.

Not only is he battling cancer, but he is awaiting a successor as he nears the end of his tenure presiding over the Chicago Archdiocese's more than two million Catholics.

"It's important to be here just to give him strength and to keep him going on," parishioner Pamela Jackson said.

During the homily, the cardinal delivered a message of hope, forgiveness, and understanding through god's grace, but made no direct mention to parishioners about his illness.

But he did talk about his health with reporters after the 11 a.m. service.

Last month a 77-year-old George announced his cancer, which has been in remission for more than a year had returned.

"We believe in the infinite level of god and I'm in his hands, as everybody else is, as well," he said.

Some who attended Sunday's service say Catholics should be inspired by the cardinal's fight with cancer and his grace during times of adversity.

"It's very emotional, very moving to see him and all the wonderful things he does, in the condition that he's in , still so giving, so selfless," Mike Cozzi said.

Cardinal George's third and final dose of chemotherapy for this third bout of cancer is Monday.

If the 6-9 month process for naming a successor for Cardinal George remains in place, Chicago could have a new archbishop by next Easter.

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