Archbishop Cupich to be elevated to Cardinal

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CHICAGO -- An ordinary mass became anything but for Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich after he was appointed to the position of Cardinal by Pope Francis Sunday.

“You may have heard there was some breaking news here in Chicago overnight: the Cubs won their second game in the playoffs and now lead 2-0,” Cupich joked during his homily.

Cupich later explained that as a Cardinal he will be a close advisor to the Pope, and he will be “pleased to be associated with that work.”

“I’m so heartened and grateful and humbled,” he said of the appointment.

Cupich is one of 17 new Cardinals named by Pope Francis Sunday, three of them from the United States.  It will become official during a ceremony at the Vatican November 19.

After the mass, Cupich told of how he learned the news himself.

“I was awakened by a friend in Rome who lives there telling me that it was just announced at the Holy Father’s Sunday Angelis,” Cupich said. “While I didn’t mind being awakened, I surely missed the two hours I was hoping to get.”

In July Pope Francis named Cupich to the Congregation for Bishops.  His latest appointment is another vote of confidence in the man from Omaha, who could be in position to vote on Francis’ successor someday.

“I think once again the Holy Father is saying he wants us to be in the trenches and my hope is that I can live up to that,” Cupich said.

Parishioners said he’s a natural choice for the position.

“The church evolves and changes, and he’s part of the new wave, and he’s following definitely in Francis’ footsteps,” said Holy Name parishioner Gerry Bellanca.