BALTIMORE -- Roman Catholics in Maryland welcomed their new leader Wednesday following the installation of William E. Lori as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore, the nation's first diocese.
At the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen attended by nearly 2,000 people, the former bishop of Bridgeport become archbishop during a two-hour Mass. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Pope Benedict XVI's representative to the United States, was among the more than 300 priests, bishops and cardinals who attended the Mass.
He read the Apostolic Mandate pronouncing the Kentucky native leader of the 500,000 Catholics worshipping in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Lori, who served the Diocese of Bridgeport for more than a decade, succeeds Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, who is now grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. O'Brien was archbishop from 2007 to 2011.
Earlier in the day, Lori spent part of his first day as archbishop serving meals to clients of Our Daily Bread and touring the Esperanza Center, which provides immigration and legal services to clients in the Fells Point area of Baltimore.
Students in Baltimore area Catholic schools watched Wednesday's Mass on televisions and computer screens. They later participated in lessons about the new archbishop and the history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the oldest Catholic diocese in the United States.
According to the Catholic Review, after a 12-hour bus ride, Lori's friends and family arrived at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Roland Park on Monday looking relieved to be off the road and eager for this week's ceremonies to begin.
"Everybody is just real excited and feels blessed that is a part of this," said Freda Jahn, 86, Lori's aunt.
Jahn and nearly 40 family members and friends boarded a coach bus Monday in southern Indiana and traveled about 600 miles to Baltimore for Tuesday's installation of Lori, the Review reported.
This is the third bus trip Jahn has planned since 1995 to see Lori ordained as an auxiliary or installed in a diocese.
Mike Bartley, 64, Lori's cousin, said during the bus ride the group said prayers and prayed the rosary.
Sulpician Father Thomas R. Hurst, the seminary's president rector and vice chancellor of the ecclesiastical theological faculty, greeted the group during a dinner Monday at the seminary, where the pilgrims are staying.
"It is a delight to have you here, to have Archbishop Lori's family here," said Hurst, who asked Jahn what she calls Archbishop Lori. "I call him Bill," said Jahn, whose response was met with laughter, the Catholic Review reported.