(CBS) – Blase Cupich, Chicago’s new archbishop, hosted his first New Year’s Day dinner with Catholic Charities while commenting on the declining health of his predecessor.

The lunch at Gibsons provided meals to senior citizens, military veterans and youngsters. Gibsons employees served the attendees, after working long hours on New Year’s Eve.

But even as he worked the crowd—laughing with some, praying with others—Cupich’s thoughts and prayers were with his predecessor, Francis Cardinal George, whose recent letter to priests admitted recent cancer treatment had failed.

“This is not the kind of news we wanted to hear,” Cupich said.

He admitted the Cardinal was in some pain.