Cardinal Presides Over Mass Ahead of Treatment | NBC Chicago

Cardinal Presides Over Mass Ahead of Treatment

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    Thunderous applause greeted Cardinal Francis George, as he celebrated mass at a packed St. Joseph Church in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. NBC 5 Christian Farr reports on how Cardinal George is preparing for his chemotherapy, which is scheduled for Wednesday. (Published Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012)

    Cardinal Francis George was in good spirits Saturday afternoon while presiding over a special mass at St. Joseph Church in the Back of Yards neighborhood.

    “It’s different for everybody and so with the help of God and prayers of an awful lot of people, I am sure it will be alright,” George said of his upcoming chemotherapy scheduled for Wednesday to treat cancer found in his liver and kidney earlier this month.

    George was on hand to celebrate St. Joseph Church’s 125 years of serving the community on the South Side, which was planned months before he announced having cancer for the second time.

    “This is a commitment I made many months ago and I will keep all the commitments to the extent that I can,” George said.

    George met with Loyola doctors on Monday, who consulted with his Mayo Clinic doctors to determine the best course of treatment.

    He will begin six sessions of chemo on September 5, with each session running three weeks (two weeks of chemo, one week of recuperation).

    George did not undergo chemo when he was diagnosed six years ago with bladder cancer, but this time around he joked with reporters that the treatment may have a reverse effect and make his hair grow back.

     “It’s a blessing and that shows us that he is truly our shepherd,” Saint Joseph Church’s Father Hugo Leon Londono said of the George’s optimism. “He is the one who would like to give us strength.”