Deacon recalls trip to Rome for Dolan's elevation ceremony

WEST BEND -- Some Catholic leaders went halfway around the world to see former Milwaukee Archbishop, and current New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan be elevated to cardinal this past weekend. Deacon Mark Jansen is one of them. The West Bend deacon was part of a group that traveled from Milwaukee to Rome to see Dolan's ceremony.

Jansen was one of thousands packed into St. Peter's Basilica in Rome Saturday to watch Timothy Dolan be elevated to cardinal. "Just a group of wonderful people to represent Milwaukee, and to share that moment with Archbishop Dolan, to be there when he was elevated to cardinal, was extremely important to all of us," Jansen said.

Jansen says it was a very special moment for him. "Seeing the Holy Father and seeing those cardinals come together and just witnessing that sense of leadership in the Catholic Church is such a powerful feeling," Jansen said.

Two other Milwaukee-area deacons joined Jansen. Then-Archbishop Dolan ordained the three back in 2007. After Saturday's ceremony, the three met Cardinal Dolan at a reception. "Only in his gracious, gregarious way, he said 'I think I remember you guys!' And he grabbed our hand in a way only he can," Jansen said.

Tuesday, Jansen returned to Holy Angels Church in West Bend, where he recalled words from current Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki. "Here, in our church, we may not have the artwork that we experienced in Rome, but it is the same holy sacrifice of the mass," Jansen said.

The trip to Rome was a special opportunity for Deacon Jansen, but for others, like Archbishop Listecki, the trip was a requirement. Canon Law states the bishops from every archdiocese are expected to visit Rome every five years.