Viewing set for noted Philadelphia cardinal

Cardinal John Foley died Sunday, after losing his fight with leukemia.

December 15, 2011 7:13:45 PM PST
The clergy and laity came to pay their respects to the late Cardinal Foley.

The body of 76-year-old Cardinal John Foley was taken to the St. Martin of Tours Chapel at St. Charles Seminary where he studied for the priesthood and once taught.

Following a prayer services, the Cardinal's body lie in repose for a public viewing.

Among those who paid their respect was the Cardinal's 8th grade teacher, 91-year-old Sr. Elizabeth Gorvin. The two kept in touch all these years.

"I know he was greeted by God in a very loving way because he was a wonderful person all his life. Everyone loved him," Gorvin said.

Cardinal Foley was priest and a journalist. He was editor of the Catholic Standard and Times before Pope John Paul II tapped him to head the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, a post he held for 23 years.

He was also the voice Americans heard broadcasting midnight mass from St. Peters on Christmas.

Earlier this month, Cardinal Foley was named man of the year by the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers. He was too sick to attend, but gave an eloquent speech on video.

"He always said, 'whatever you do, tell the truth' and he said 'and if it's difficult, do it with candor,'" Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said.

Born in Darby Borough, Cardinal Foley was a true Philadelphian, faithful to his roots. He spent years at the Vatican, but came home for his final months on earth.

Those who knew him say he was a humble , caring man of high integrity.

"He was the people's priest. He was caring, thoughtful, generous, kind," Shiela Longworth of St. Charles Seminary said.

Another viewing will be held Friday at the Cathedral Basilica. A mass of Christian burial at 2:00 p.m. and then the Cardinal will be laid to rest in the crypt under the cathedral's main altar.

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