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Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan To Visit Holy Land Before Heading To Rome

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan has travel plans before his trip to the Vatican next month to be elevated to Cardinal along with 21 others from Hong Kong, Berlin, Prague and from some key Vatican offices.

Dolan will be heading to Israel next week to lead a pilgrimage of 50 priests through the Holy Land.

"Before I become a Cardinal, I better spend time on my knees in prayer and what better way to do it than in Israel," said Dolan.

The archbishop Wednesday headed just a short distance uptown to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on 115th Street to promote the upcoming observance of "Catholic Schools Week." Next week's trip is with 50 New York priests to the Holy Land.

"It's a great way for me to get to know my priests of the Archdiocese even better," he said.

The nine-day trip, a week from Thursday, is a pilgrimage to sacred sites, or as Dolan says, it puts the Church in touch with its roots.

"We hear about Jesus. We visit the sites. There is nothing for us is more important than visiting the spot where he had the Last Supper. There's noting for us like visiting Bethlehem. There's noting for us like visiting Nazareth where Mary heard she would be the mother of the Messiah. There's noting like kneeling at the empty tomb in the the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. That just revs us up," he said.

The group will also visit the Western Wall and the Holocaust Museum.

"He's gone out of his way to feel that the Jewish community is part of his religious experience," said Rabbi Noam Marans of the American Jewish Committee, with whom Dolan has done interfaith work.

While Dolan says he looks forward to new challenges and world travel, he said his heart will remain with students of the City whom he sees as the future of the Church.

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