DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     September 14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 174

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        NEW YORK, SEP 13, 1999 (ZENIT).- During the special mass celebrated every year in St. Patrick's Cathedral to commemorate Catholic workers on Labor Day weekend, Card. John O'Connor greeted the overflowing crowd of worshippers with a typical New York mixture of humor and seriousness. It was his first public event since having a small tumor on the brain removed during a 10-day stay at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

        "They came in great numbers -- nurses, physicians, various attendants -- after these days of examination, and their faces were wreathed with smiles," he recalled. "They said, 'We have good news for you.' What's that? 'Nothing wrong with you but your head.' I said a lot of New Yorkers have known that for a long time."

        In a more serious tone he told of how he learned to exercise the virtue of trust by confiding in his doctors and putting himself in the hands of God. "I said to myself: 'They have given me their trust. Now they need mine. It's only as I trust God and I trust them that this will be all right.'"

        The Cardinal thanked everyone who had sent him cards and flowers, or prayed for his recovery. "I am told we are making a lot of money for the Archdiocese selling flowers," he joked.

        He revealed that he had received "a beautiful letter" from Pope John Paul II and remarked lightheartedly that he had sent the Pope recent newspaper clippings which list names of his potential successors. "He hasn't yet told me I'll be succeeded, if or when," O'Connor said. "But I'll pass on to him these names."

        Thanking all those present who had come to wish him well he concluded: "This has been a truly marvelous funeral. I've enjoyed every bit of it." ZE99091324

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 14, 1999       volume 10, no. 174


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