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Cardinal Cupich to preside at vespers

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago and the first native of Nebraska elevated to cardinal, will lead a vespers service and greet well-wishers Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

"I look forward to welcoming Cardinal Cupich back to Omaha, to celebrate his elevation to the College of Cardinals and to pray for him in his new responsibilities," said Archbishop George J. Lucas. "I hope that many from the community will join us at St. Cecilia Cathedral on the evening of Dec. 30."

More than 20 relatives of Cardinal Cupich who are living in Omaha, and perhaps more from outside Omaha, plan to attend the vespers service and reception, said the cardinal’s sister, Margie Altman, who with her husband, Bill, is a member of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha.

"Our family is very proud of him," Margie Altman said. "He’s deserving of it and will do a great job."

Altman and other relatives were among those who traveled to Rome to attend the consistory where Pope Francis created 17 new cardinals, including Cardinal Cupich.

Altman said her late parents, Blase and Mary, also would be proud. Both lived to see Cardinal Cupich become a bishop, and their mother hoped he would someday be a cardinal, Altman said.

Priests of the archdiocese and former parishioners of Cardinal Cupich also are among those expected to gather for vespers, and to wish Cardinal Cupich well at a dessert reception with receiving line in the Msgr. Ernest Graham Building, just east of the cathedral.

Cardinal Cupich grew up in Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Omaha, attended the parish school and then-Archbishop Ryan High School in Omaha.

As a priest, he served at St. Margaret Mary and St. Robert Bellarmine parishes in Omaha, and St. Mary Parish in Bellevue. He was appointed bishop of Rapid City, S.D., in 1998, bishop of Spokane, Wash., in 2010, and archbishop of Chicago in 2014.

Plan to Attend

WHAT: Vespers with Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago

WHEN: 7 p.m. Dec. 30

WHERE: St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha

After: Dessert reception with receiving line in the Msgr. Ernest Graham Building, just east of the cathedral

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