After a three-day hospital stay earlier this week, Edward Cardinal Egan returned to the pulpit for his final Holy Thursday Mass as the head of the New York Archdiocese. NY1's Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.
Greeting parishioners in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Edward Cardinal Egan didn't look or sound like someone who had just gotten out of the hospital.
"I'm feeling pretty good. Not as well as I should, but much better than I thought I would be," said Egan.
Egan was hospitalized on Saturday with severe stomach pains.
Out of the public eye for almost a week, he finally addressed the media Thursday, reflecting on his illness with a bit of humor.
"I had an acute virus, a gastral virus and it kind of turned everything off. I didn't know that was possible. Things weren't moving, we're not going to get any more explicit on that," said Egan.
While he was being evaluated, doctors determined the Cardinal will need a pacemaker. But that isn't an emergency procedure so Egan was given the go-ahead to participate in his final Holy Week. The Cardinal is retiring after nine years at the helm of the New York Archdiocese.
"This is my last Holy Thursday mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral and to miss Holy Thursday and Good Friday and Easter Sunday would've been a heavy cross to bear," said Egan.
Parishioners who prayed for the Cardinal's health were happy to see him.
"I think Father Egan was great. He even shook my hand during the procession," said one parishioner.
"He made it amazing to come out to show his parishioners how dedicated he is to New York and how he strengthens New York and the bond he has with New York during these tough times," said another parishioner.
Cardinal Egan is planning to preach on Good Friday and celebrate mass on Easter Sunday, but those won't be his last official duties.
Egan also plans to participate in the installation ceremonies for his friend and successor, Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan next week.
NY1 will have complete coverage of Dolan's instillation. The station's special coverage will start on Monday.
On Tuesday, NY1 will carry the Solemn Vespers prayer service LIVE, during which Archbishop Dolan will be received for the first time at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The station will also have LIVE coverage of the instillation ceremony on Wednesday starting at 1 p.m.