CHICAGO (CBS) — The new Catholic archbishop of Chicago mixed laughter and prayers with a serious message Tuesday as he took the reins of the Chicago Archdiocese from Francis Cardinal George during a two-hour mass at Holy Name Cathedral.

Priests, bishops, religious leaders from other denominations and dignitaries that included Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel filled Holy Name Cathedral to witness the installation, after a simple ceremony before a Cook County judge in which Archbishop Blase Cupich said he would accept a mandate from Pope Francis and lead the 2.2-million Catholics of Cook and Lake Counties, Ill.

Archbishop Cupich made those in the congregation laugh hard several times, in which he said, “Seriously folks. I don’t do walking on water. I can barely swim.”

But he had a serious message for Chicago-area Catholics: get out of your comfort zone, and be daring and bold when doing God’s work.

“It’s an invitation to leave behind the comfort of going the familiar way,” Cupich said. “He is challenging us to recognize that Christ is always inviting us to more, to greater things.”

The archbishop said passing on the faith to the next generation is one of those challenges, and will not be an easy one, given both the sometimes skeptical culture and the clergy sex-abuse scandal. And he said Christ’s message is not just for the faithful, but for the lost, the forlorn and those who are adrift.

It is a theme on which he is expected to elaborate Wednesday when leading morning prayers with men and women religious of the Archdiocese, at 10 a.m., and at 7 p.m. evening prayers with permanent deacons, deacon candidates, deacon aspirants and lay ecclesial ministers and their wives. Both gatherings will take place at Holy Name Cathedral.

The change in style from Francis Cardinal George was immediate, although Cupich embraced George on the altar after accepting his appointment and said that he would tell parishes throughout the Archdiocese to remember the Cardinal each day in prayers at mass as “bishop-emeritus.”

Cupich is only the ninth man to be named archbishop since Chicago became an archdiocese in 1880. While George retains the title of cardinal in retirement, it is not a title that has been conferred on Cupich, who was elevated Tuesday to archbishop from the rank of bishop in Spokane, Wash., where he was assigned the past four years. Typically, new Chicago archbishops must wait several years before being created a cardinal by the pontiff.

Cupich is a native of Omaha, Neb., and there was a healthy contingent of family members and religious from Omaha on hand to witness the installation. He chose Nov. 18 for the installation because it is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Cupich’s Croatian immigrant grandparents helped spearhead the drive to build the church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Omaha.