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Cardinal George chose Seattle archbishop to give homily at funeral

Cardinal Francis George helped plan his own funeral service earlier this month, calling on a good friend, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, to give the homily at his funeral Mass scheduled for Thursday.

Tuesday kicks off three days of services for George — several open to the public — beginning with a public visitation scheduled for 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Holy Name Cathedral.

Sartain, 68, the former bishop of Joliet, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in May 2006. He served in that diocese until September 2010, when he was appointed archbishop of Seattle.

“I think the cardinal was aware that [death] was imminent, and made the request earlier in April,” said Greg Magnoni, Sartain’s director of communications.

“Archbishop Sartain mentioned he had gotten the request about a week before Cardinal George died. . . . They were close,” Magnoni said.

Sartain was in Rome on Friday for a meeting on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious when George died, Magnoni said. He will soon head back to the United States.

George’s funeral Mass is scheduled for noon Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral, with attendance by ticket only.

Here is the full schedule of services:

Tuesday, April 21
1 p.m.: Holy Name Cathedral doors open
2 p.m.: Rite of Reception (open to the public)
2:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Visitation (open to the public)
7:30 p.m.: Prayer vigil for priests and seminarians (attendance by ticket only)
9 to 11 p.m.: Visitation (open to the public)
11 p.m.: Holy Name Cathedral doors close

Wednesday, April 22
7 to 9:30 a.m.: Visitation (open to the public)
10:30 a.m.: Interfaith service (open to the public)
11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Visitation (open to the public)
7:30 p.m.: Prayer vigil for women and men religious, deacons
and their wives (attendance by ticket only)
9 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, until 7:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23:
Visitation and all-night vigil (open to the public)

Thursday, April 23
7:30 a.m.: Prayer service (open to the public)
8 a.m.: Holy Name Cathedral closed for funeral Mass preparation
11 a.m.: Holy Name Cathedral doors open for funeral Mass (attendance by ticket only)
12 p.m.: Funeral Mass (attendance by ticket only)

Immediately after the funeral Mass on Thursday, the Committal Service will take place at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines. Per the cardinal’s wishes, he will be buried in the George family plot, and that service is open to the public.