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Cardinal Tobin Says He Was Surprised To Be Named Archbishop Of Newark

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- In a historic first for the Archdiocese of Newark, a cardinal will be installed as archbishop.

CBS2's Meg Baker spoke Thursday with Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who calls himself a man of the people.

Tobin was handpicked by Pope Francis to be the first cardinal named as archbishop of Newark in 163 years.

"I am just kind of overwhelmed by the kindness of people here associated with the archdiocese," Tobin said.

Tobin was last the archbishop of Indianapolis. He said he was completely surprised that he would be named a cardinal and moving to New Jersey.

"I got no phone call. I got no phone call," Tobin said. "Francis just got up St. Peter's Square, reached in his pocket at the end of his announcements, and read these names."

Tobin, 60, grew up in a big Irish Catholic family. He was born and raised in Detroit with eight sisters and four brothers.

"I say you really learn to share if you have eight sisters and one bathroom," Tobin said.

Baker pointed out that she heard Tobin likes going to the gym.

"I do, although it probably doesn't show it, but yeah, I found that working out is, not only helps me think better, but also pray better, and I've always liked sports," Tobin said.

Tobin is part of Pope Francis' mission to be a champion of the people – especially the poor and immigrants. He is now leading 1.6 million Roman Catholics in North Jersey.

He calls himself a salesman of sorts, and he hopes to pitch a broader tent and be a more inclusive, merciful church.

"So your style really is boots on the ground," Baker said to Tobin.

"I think it's always a challenge to figure out, how do you spend your time?" Tobin said. "And I think Pope Francis knew that famous and somewhat inelegant impression that people in my business should have the smell of the sheep, you know what it means is you should be close enough to people to know what they're up against."

The cardinal will reside in a residence with other priests, but he said most of his time will be spent out on the road visiting parishes across our state.

Tobin's installation as archbishop is on Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

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