By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the most generous Catholic parishes in Chicago welcomed a special visitor on this day before Thanksgiving.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams tells us Archbishop Blase Cupich passed out a lot more than holiday meals to those in need.
To those waiting in long lines for a holiday meal at St. Columbanus, Cupich handed out turkeys and warm greetings.

St. Columbanus has a food pantry on Wednesdays and it was there on this day before Thanksgiving, he made his first charity appearance since his installation as archbishop.

“I think it’s about taking care of each other,” Cupich said. “Everybody has some poverty in life, some lack and we’re all together in this.”

It was what he vowed at his installation service — a focus on the poor, which was appreciated at this church on 71st street, just east of the Dan Ryan.

Jerry Jackson is a parishioner and says he was, “very impressed” by Cupich.

With Catholic school children by his side, Cupich later blessed a portrait of Augustus Tolton, said to be the first African-American Catholic priest who served on Chicago’s South Side.

The day included a lighthearted moment when the new archbishop joked about his growing popularity.

“After this week, I’ve decided I’m going to apply for the witness protection program,” he said.

Tomorrow, Archbishop Cupich says he’ll celebrate mass and serve Thanksgiving meals at other parishes. We asked where he’s having dinner he said “I’m sure I’ll eat there.”

Cupich said since he’s arrived in Chicago he’s been offered so much food he’s had to give a lot of it away, or in his words “I’d be big as a blimp.”