By Carol Glatz
A Swiss guard manning the Bronze Doors at the Vatican as pilgrims gathered to greet new cardinals created at a Feb. 22 consistory. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)
VATICAN CITY — The tasseled felt hats of German horse riders and the brightly colored head wraps of women from the Antilles were just a few of the signs of the universality of the Catholic church on display as pilgrims celebrated the creation of new cardinals.
South Koreans and Canadians, Ivorians and Italians mixed and mingled as they celebrated their countrymen being elevated to the College of Cardinals during an informal gathering in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall this afternoon.
“This is pure, unadulterated joy for me to see my uncle made a cardinal,” said Rosemarie O’Mard, who left behind snow and ice storms in Queens to come to Rome to see Cardinal Kelvin Felix of Castries, St. Lucia in the Antilles, receive the red biretta.
“But to me he’s my Uncle Kelvin,” she told Catholic News Service, recalling how she grew up with the new cardinal because his father — her grandfather — raised her until she was 13.
In this extended family, her aunts and uncles were like her mothers and fathers, she said. Her and her family’s love for her uncle means “you want him all to yourself, he’s so loving, he has that twinkle in his eye.”
“But he’s not ours, he’s theirs as he’s become a father to so many,” she said, pointing to the large group of smiling and laughing priests and laypeople who gathered for photographs around the 81-year-old retired archbishop.
A group of women with colorful dress and matching head wraps sang, “We love you, we love you, we love you, yes we do,” to the tune of “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain.”
Cardinal Kelvin Felix, retired archbishop of Castries, St. Lucia, pictured in this undated photo. (CNS photo/courtesy of Our Catholic Community)
“For him, this is not a job. He loves these people and look how amazing, how they love him back,” O’Mard said. She said Cardinal Felix is a true shepherd “and I think Pope Francis saw this in him, his strength and joy, how he lifts the rest of us up.”
Cardinal Felix said that although he was over 80 and could never vote in a conclave, he was ready to serve the church as (Read More)