HUBERTUS -- Thousands flocked to the Basillica of Holy Hill Saturday, April 28th to celebrate the return of a beloved Catholic leader. Former Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy Dolan led mass in Milwaukee for the first time since his elevation to the Church of Cardinals.
It's been three years since Cardinal Dolan left Milwaukee to become Archbishop of New York and two months since he was elevated to Cardinal.
Cardinal Dolan brought his usual upbeat nature and wit.
"I have a new name. I am now Timothy Cardinal Tebow," he joked.
The Cardinal returned to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee with a message of thanks. "You stood with me those seven happy years and you have not forgotten about me these past three and I return as a grateful friend," Cardinal Dolan said.
Speaking with the media, Dolan said he feels a deep connection to Milwaukee. "When the Pope put the red hat on me, he was also putting the red hat on a Milwaukeean," Cardinal Dolan said.
Dolan also spoke to critics, including victims of clergy abuse, who say he left Milwaukee with much work to be done. "I would say that they probably have a point, and I would say, boy, I tried my best, and I think thanks to a lot of people in this archdiocese, we made great progress when it came to healing, and when it came to honesty and candor," Cardinal Dolan said.
Among the thousands who filled the church, were Governor Scott Walker and U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. Catholics leaving mass said it was a special day.
"The energy and everything around him, it's just such a positive thing," Kenny Gengler said.