CHICAGO (CBS) — A delegation of Chicago clergy, elected officials, and business leaders were heading to Rome on Thursday, to see Archbishop Blase Cupich elevated to the rank of cardinal this weekend.
On Saturday, Pope Francis will lead a Vatican ceremony installing Cupich and 12 other bishops and archbishops as cardinals.
Cupich will travel to Assisi, Italy, on Friday for a mass with pilgrims, and then attend a reception hosted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule, on Friday evening, before the ceremony making Cupich a cardinal on Saturday.
The archbishop arrived in Rome on Thursday morning, fresh from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore. One of his first stops was a meeting with reporters, who were curious about the gifts Cupich recently gave the pope.
Last week, Cupich gave Pope Francis a Chicago Cubs hat, and an encased autographed baseball to celebrate the World Series champions.
“News of the @Cubs win reached all the way to the #Vatican! @Pontifex can now celebrate with us and he asks for our prayers! #FlytheW,” Cupich posted on Twitter earlier this week.
Cupich said the Pope granted him a special appointment to present the World Series gifts at the Vatican.
“I saw the pope on Thursday, because I was part of a group that introduced the new book of his, and I pulled him aside, and I said, ‘You know, I’d like to give this to you. Is there an occasion? I’ll be here until the weekend.’ And he said yes, so he called his secretary over and said ‘Let’s put him on the schedule,’ and so we made it happen on Friday,” he said.
Also traveling to the Vatican to see Cupich become a cardinal will be Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana; Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton and his wife, Pamela; Illinois State Comptroller-elect Susana Mendoza and her husband, David Szostak; Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke and her husband, Ald. Edward Burke; several other Chicago aldermen; Congressman Mike Quigley; and top executives from ComEd, Walgreens, and other Chicago celebrities and city officials.