"Above all," Cardinal Timothy Dolan has said, Cardinal Edward Egan "served Jesus as he loved and served the children, the sick, the families, the poor and the elderly through the Church."
During the funeral Mass yesterday at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Cardinal Dolan recalled Cardinal Edward Egan as "God's servant" who worked tirelessly for parishes, charities, health care and education.
To the some 2,500 people in the 5th Avenue cathedral, Cardinal Dolan underscored how many cherished the "consolation he had given on and after 9/11, prayers offered, sick visited, prisoners encouraged, children taught, immigrants welcomed and parishes strengthened."
"Now this Church thanks God for him," he said.
Cardinal Egan, recognized for his contributions to the Vatican and to the Canon, led the Archdiocese of New York for almost a decade, including on Sept. 11, 2001, when there were the attacks on the World Trade Center and nearly 3,000 were killed. Following the tragedy, he had done multiple funeral Masses each day.
On March 5, the prelate died at age 82 of a heart attack.
Amid the scaffolding of St. Patrick's with rennovations underway, the service for the late cardinal began with bagpipers from the city's police and fire departments. There was a funeral procession along blocked-off streets around the cathedral and police barriers were holding back crowds.
In attendance, were several hundred Catholic clergy members, including almost a dozen cardinals and archbishops, and about 30 bishops, as well as several of Egan’s relatives who partook in the Mass. New York’s most known politicians, including state's governor, the city's current mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the former, Rudy Giuliani, were in the pews.
On Monday and Tuesday, the cathedral had a viewing attended by thousands of people.
In 2009, Egan retired after nine years of serving the archdiocese, which is home to more than 2.6 million Catholics in about 400 parishes within the city as well as its northern suburbs.
The Vatican's emissary to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, delivered a message of praise from Pope Francis in Rome.
In Rome, the rector of the Pontifical North American College, Msgr. James Checchio arranged a Mass for Cardinal Egan at his titular church, Sts. John and Paul with Fr. Augosto, the rector, 4:00 PM on Tuesday, March 10.
Various Cardinals, priests, seminarians, and those on whose lives Cardinal Egan had an impact attended. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington similarly paid tribute and reaffirmed after the Mass how meaningful Cardinal Egan’s life had been to the Church and New York.
Fr. Nick Callaghan, ordained by the cardinal, delivered the homily, in which he recalled the fatherly role the late cardinal had on his formation, and Cardinal Stafford, classmate with Cardinal Egan, was the principal celebrant.