From Cardinal Seán's blog

I was in Rome this past week for the consistory, at which the Holy Father created 20 new cardinals, including Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego.

It is the custom for the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See to hold a reception when there is a new American cardinal, which was held Friday night at the embassy. Of course, our host was the new Vatican Ambassador, Joe Donnelly.

There was a very large crowd, particularly of Americans living in Rome.

During the evening, Ambassador Donnelly addressed us along with Cardinal Jim Harvey and Cardinal McElroy. The talks they gave were very much about the cooperation of church and state and the contribution that the Church makes to society. The talks were a bit more academic than you would ordinarily hear at that kind of event, but they were very good.

The consistory

Saturday was the consistory itself, which was held inside St. Peter's Basilica.

There was quite a large number of cardinals from around the world who attended.

It was a special joy to have Cardinal Adalberto Martinez Flores among the new cardinals. He had been one of my parishioners in Washington, and I ordained him a deacon and then a priest for the Virgin Islands. He was a close collaborator of mine for many years before he returned to his native Paraguay. [ . . .]

Cardinal Martinez had his Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday at the Church of the Gesu.

The church has been cleaned and renovated is just breathtaking.

In the back of the church, they have a mirror so you can see the ceiling.

It was a very appropriate setting because the Jesuits were significant in the development of Paraguay. The first Paraguayan saint was a Jesuit, St. Roque, and the Jesuit missions, called reductions, are a very important part of the history of the country. [ . . .]

College of Cardinals meetings

On Monday and Tuesday, we had the meetings held by the Holy Father with the College of Cardinals to discuss Praedicate Evangelium. The cardinals broke up into different language groups, after which we had discussions in the Synod Hall.

There was a very good spirit among the cardinals, and they were very happy to be together and have the opportunity for conversation, particularly those that took place in the smaller language groups. Of course, with the pandemic, it was difficult to gather the College of Cardinals. During the last consistory, very few cardinals were able to attend, and those who did had to isolate and quarantine. It was a much different experience this time.

During the two-day session, it was also announced that the next Jubilee Year will be entitled "Pilgrims of Hope," to be observed in 2025.

Final Mass

Tuesday afternoon, the cardinals celebrated a final Mass with the Holy Father to close the consistory.