One of the great joys that came with emceeing the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress was the brief conversations I had with the main speakers. For example, I told Dr. Scott Hahn that I have a Facebook friend who loved Rome Sweet Home, which caused me to suggest the book to another friend who had asked me about converting to Catholicism.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan held a brief press conference in one of the smaller meeting rooms on Saturday. When it ended, the Cardinal greeted each of us individually. Pam Rhoades and Scott Maentz both photographed my conversation with the Cardinal.
I have a friend who contacted me recently with a request for prayers. She lives in the Archdiocese of New York and met Cardinal Dolan through her work with the Ladies of Charity. During my moment with the Cardinal, I told him about the member of his flock who had asked me for prayers. He put his hand on my shoulder and asked me to write down her name and number.
The Cardinal left the room and got swamped by fans in the hall of the convention center. I caught up to him on my way to introduce the next event. As I gave him my friend’s number, WBIR-TV snapped a photo that is on their website.
When my friend turned her phone back on after Mass on Saturday evening, she had a voice-mail message. She described the message to me in an email: “‘This is Cardinal Dolan.’ In shock, I thought: this is because of Frank. He went on to say he’d met a good friend of mine in Knoxville and knew of my health issues and that ‘you have my prayers.'”
Several of my friends have commented on my photo with the Cardinal. I liked my daughter’s reaction best. She wrote, “If he is ever canonized, your jacket will be a second-class relic!”