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O’Brien Celebrates First Baltimore Mass As Cardinal

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After a trip to Rome for an elevation ceremony, Edwin O’Brien is back in Baltimore celebrating his first Mass as cardinal.

Gigi Barnett has the details.

The special Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen is the beginning of the end in Baltimore for Cardinal Edwin O’Brien.

“It’s a new responsibility and some big adjustments,” he said.

Last month in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI elevated O’Brien to cardinal. Now back in Baltimore, this is his first Mass as cardinal and he says there’s still much work to do.

“I’m hoping and praying that the new appointment comes soon so that people can stop rumoring and worrying and the new archbishop can have his own program in place,” Cardinal O’Brien said.

Catholics say O’Brien’s elevation is bittersweet. He’ll leave the city to begin a new position in Rome. But parishioners like Catherine Deford say it’s an honor that he was selected.

“It’s good for Baltimore and it’s good for all believers,” Deford said.

O’Brien is the fourth leader of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to become a cardinal. After four and a half years at the helm, O’Brien says he’s ready to forge ahead.

“I’m very grateful to the people of Baltimore and to all my associates who’ve been so generous, especially our priests here in the Archdiocese,” he said.

O’Brien has some say in whom his successor would be. He was able to send three names to Rome but he can’t say who they are because the process of choosing the next archbishop is a secret.

O’Brien doesn’t know when his new appointment in Rome will begin. He hopes his new position will promote Christianity in Jerusalem.

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