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Kennedy Catholic Principal To Attend Archbishop's Elevation Ceremony in Rome

SOMERS, N.Y. – Rev. Mark G. Vaillancourt, president and principal of Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, is one of a select group of clergy invited to attend the Consistory of Cardinals in Rome on Saturday.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore are the two Americans being elevated to the status of cardinal by Pope Benedict. Cardinals serve as papal advisors and in their capacity as the College of Cardinals, they elect the pope.

This year’s consistory has double significance in Somers. First, because Vaillancourt is among the honored guests and secondly, because O’Brien is a 1957 alumnus of St. Mary’s High School, the forerunner of Kennedy Catholic High.  Vaillancourt described the feeling at Kennedy as “exceedingly proud.”

The consistory ceremony is at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 10:30 a.m.  Vallincourt will also attend a reception for Dolan and O’Brien at the Pontifical North American College at 1 p.m., as well as a mass at St. Paul Outside-the-Walls on Monday.

“I’ve been to Rome twice as a priest,” Vaillancourt said. “I met the Holy Father twice, once when he visited New York a few years ago and also when I was in the seminary in 1988-1989 and he was Cardinal Ratzinger. Whenever you’re with the Holy Father you get a sense of the grandeur of the church and its 2,000-year living tradition.”

Vaillancourt is going to keep his fans and his flock abreast of his activities while in Rome. “Our P.R. Man, Alex Malecki, has got me Tweeting and he set me up on Facebook, and he’s also got me blogging,” the priest said. “I’m pretty plugged in.”

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