CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of Catholics and other mourners were expected to wait in long lines at Holy Name Cathedral on Wednesday, as the second day of public visitation begins for Cardinal Francis George.
Doors open to the public at 7 a.m. at the church where Cardinal George presided over the nation’s third largest diocese. Once again, people will line up to pay respects to the man who shepherded more than 2.2 million Catholics for more than 17 years.
Two special services also were planned in honor of the late archbishop. The day’s first round of public visitation will be held from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the cathedral will host a public interreligious observance, and representatives from no less than 12 different faiths will attend to pay tribute to George. A second round of public visitation will then be held from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
At 7:30 p.m., Holy Name will host a prayer vigil for Catholic priests, brothers, nuns, sisters, and deacons and their wives. The day will conclude with a nightlong visitation and vigil, from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
George passed away Friday, just a little less than six months after he became the first Chicago cardinal to retire from his seat.
The first Chicago native to lead the Chicago Archdiocese, George ushered the church through difficulties of financial strain, and the priest sex abuse scandal, helping it emerge stronger in the view of many.
“The legacy that he leaves will be embedded in each of us. That’s what he said, and I think Archbishop Cupich will be wonderful in not only honoring that legacy, but moving it forward,” said Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, former superintendent of Catholic schools in Chicago.
George’s funeral mass has been scheduled for noon Thursday.