BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – Newly elected Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday at the Vatican; however, in Massachusetts, attention shifted to Cardinal Sean O'Malley, who recently returned from the conclave and was rumored to be very close to leading the Catholic Church, as he celebrated the start of Holy Week.
Some 500 parishioners packed Boston's Cathedral of the Cross to hear Cardinal O'Malley speak on Sunday.
Those who regularly celebrate Mass at Cathedral of the Cross were happy to have Cardinal Sean back, while others traveled from other churches and states to hear the holy man's words.
"A very good message about being more humanistic, and taking care of the less fortunate in the world, and I think it's appropriate for this time of year," Maria Rudolph, who came all the way from Virginia, told FOX 25's Crystal Haynes.
Cardinal O'Malley's remarks were both somber and hopeful. He praised Pope Francis and reiterated his relief that he was back home and not in the Chair of Saint Peter.
"It's an awful life. It's being a prisoner in a museum, but that's not what our pope is about. Obviously, his ministry is so crucial for us as a unifying factor in the church," Cardinal O'Malley said.
Cardinal O'Malley's remarks turned somber as he talked about Palm Sunday marking the 33rd anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Several people were also killed at Romero's funeral. As he told the story, Cardinal O'Malley became choked up.
Before leaving the conclave, Cardinal O'Malley says he was glad to be able to bring his not famed experience in dealing with Boston's clergy sex abuse scandal to Rome.
"You can't improvise when there's a crisis. If you do, you'll make many mistakes."