Shirley Dolan is relieved. After all the speculation built around her son, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, being a long-shot pick for pope, she can now rest easy knowing she’ll get to see him soon — probably at the next family baptism.
“It’s not that he wouldn’t have been good for the church. I know he would have, and he would have done a great job, but I want him here,” she told NBC affiliate KDSK in their hometown of St. Louis, Mo.
Dolan said everyone who knew her son while growing up predicted he would go far in the church.
“People have been saying, since he entered the very first year of seminary, which was high school, he’ll be our first American pope,” she said.
But for her, cardinal was far enough.
“We all knew that he would go, ‘all the way,’ is what we always said. All the way stops at where he is at right now, cardinal,” she said with a laugh.
Anything beyond, such as an elevation to the papacy, would take her son away from his extended family.
Cardinal Dolan, who also serves as the Archbishop of New York, chuckled when TODAY's Matt Lauer told him about his mom's reaction to the new pope. He then blew a kiss to her.
“I haven’t talked to Mom yet, but I send her my love,” he said. “She’s got a new grandson, which I’m happy about. I got a new great nephew.”
Shirley Dolan said she expects her son to be preside over the baby’s baptism. And she looks forward to taking his call when he eventually gets a free moment.
“I get say to him, ‘Thank you for still being here.’”