Houston Cardinal holds mass in Rome ahead of papal conclave

By Bill Balleza - Anchor

VATICAN CITY - As the College of Cardinals prepares to elect a new Pope, Houston's Cardinal Daniel DiNardo celebrated mass Sunday morning in Rome.

Just before Sunday's mass, DiNardo spoke with Local 2's Bill Balleza who is also in Rome covering the papal conclave.

"Hello Bill, how are you? We've been busy, but I think we'll be ready for Tuesday," said DiNardo.

When DiNardo was elevated to cardinal, Pope Benedict gave him the honorary title to a parish church in Rome, where he arrived Sunday morning to celebrate Sunday mass with his parishioners.

"I'm very fortunate, Bill, to have been given a church that is actually a parish church," DiNardo said to Balleza.

DiNardo traveled to Rome ten days ago to begin a series of meetings leading up to the conclave that begins Tuesday.

"I miss Houston already," said DiNardo.

Several Houstonians were among those who attended Sunday's mass, and the cardinal graciously acknowledged their presence, nodding to them as he processed up the aisle to begin the ritual of Catholic mass.

Just before the service began, he addressed them directly from the altar.

"I understand there are a number of people from Houston here today, you'll be inspired," said DiNardo.

DiNardo has one final meeting with the other 114 electors before they are locked away in the Sistine Chapel, until they choose one among them to lead the Roman Catholic church.

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