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Cardinal Dolan tours the Catholic sites of Manhattan in new video series

J-P Mauro - published on 08/27/21

'Cardinal Dolan's New York' is driven by the prelate's love of history, natural charisma, and signature sense of humor.

In the fifth week of Easter, 2021, Cardinal Timothy Dolan launched a video series that instructs on Catholic practices. From the storied Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, the prelate illuminated the functions of various aspects of church buildings in relation to the faith. The show was such a hit that it has spurred the cardinal to produce more videos. 

Now, Cardinal Dolan, 71, is taking viewers on a walking tour of Catholic sites in New York. The series, Cardinal Dolan’s New York, just released its seventh episode, in which Cardinal Dolan visits the Most Precious Blood Church. Standing in the heart of Little Italy, the parish became well known after appearing in The Godfather

Cardinal Dolan’s New York

Cardinal Dolan’s natural charisma makes him an excellent host for this series. His unscripted discussions are conversational in tone and make the viewer feel like they’re walking right beside the prelate. His robust enthusiasm for the rich Catholic history of New York further engages viewers.

He said in his opening to the most recent episode:

“Welcome, everybody, to the Most Precious Blood parish in Little Italy, here in the southern part of Manhattan … We mentioned how the Church is our family home. Yeah, there’s a great historical significance to them, especially Old Saint Patrick’s, but they’re living. They’re still home to God’s family, and this was a home to welcome, especially, the Italians … It’s still renowned because it’s the scene of the Sanctuary of San Gennaro and the famous San Gennaro fest.”

Father Graebe

Cardinal Dolan was joined by Father Brian Graebe, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral and regular contributor to the show. Fr. Graebe expanded on the cardinal’s musings as they stood before an elaborately decorated statue of San Gennaro. Father Graebe explained: 

“[He was] The Bishop of Benevento and then he’s buried in Napels. There’s the tradition that he was beheaded, so he’s a martyr as well, and there’s a tradition of his blood liquifying each year as a sign of God’s favor.”

Humor

The informal charm of the series is highlighted best by Cardinal Dolan’s signature tongue-in-cheek humor. After all, this is the cardinal who, in his 2012 CUA commencement speech (shortly after being elevated to the status of cardinal), lifted up his cape and declared, “I’m Batman.” 

When Fr. Graebe finished his explanation of San Gennaro, Cardinal Dolan flexed his wit. San Gennaro’s bust was plated in silver, or perhaps white gold, but the face was finished in bronze. Patting San Gennaro on the shoulder, he chided: 

“Boy, he’s getting a little too much sun. I’m a little worried about the bronze.”

Each of the brief 3- to 5-minute episodes is filled with fun facts about historical parishes and their prestigious communities. In previous episodes Cardinal Dolan visited Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which he proudly noted that he helped designate as a basilica. There he informs about common Catholic queries, like the difference between a cathedral and a basilica. However, he also touches on topics that are less common, like the value of a graveyard on church grounds. 

With the abundance of Catholic sites in New York City, Cardinal Dolan has a wealth of material for more episodes. Visit Cardinal Dolan’s website to watch the full series, Cardinal Dolan’s New York. Also, be sure to follow him on Facebook to catch all the latest releases.

Tags:
Catholic historyEntertainmentNew York
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