On April 25, two days after Cardinal George was laid to rest in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, priests, religious, cardinals, dignitaries and laity gathered in his titular church in Rome, the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola, for a memorial Mass. Father Andrew Liaugminas, a priest of Archdiocese of Chicago studying in Rome who was ordained by Cardinal George in 2010, arranged the Mass and delivered the homily. “I could see that the cardinal meant a lot to us priests, deacons and seminarians from America studying here in Rome, but also to the community of San Bartolomeo,” Liaugminas told the Catholic New World in an email. “In addition to honoring that connection Cardinal George had with San Bartolomeo, the Mass gave everyone here in Rome who knew Cardinal George the chance to join with everyone in Chicago in mourning the loss of Cardinal George and praying for his eternal repose in a parish that meant so much to him, his adopted Roman parish.” Cardinals are given, symbolically, churches in the City of Rome by the pope, no matter where they actually serve. These churches are called titular, which means “in name only.” This connection identifies cardinals more closely with the pope, the bishop of Rome, and entitles them to be electors of that supreme bishop. The cardinals are encouraged to say Mass there when in Rome and to support the efforts of the church. Their coat of arms is also displayed above the church entrance. San Bartolomeo is situated on the Tiber Island, in the middle of the Tiber River, which in Ancient Rome was a pilgrimage site for those seeking healing. The church contains the body of St. Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles. Retired Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston presided and the main concelebrants were Cardinals George Pell, James Harvey and J. Francis Stafford. Other concelebrants included U.S. priests working at the Vatican or studying in Rome, as well as three members of the general council of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Cardinal George’s religious community. More U.S. priests and religious, both men and women, attended the Mass, as did Ken Hackett, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, and members of the Community of Sant’Egidio, who staff the church. The cross bearer and two readers were seminarians from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, and the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. Before being named to Chicago, Cardinal George served as bishop of Yakima and archbishop of Portland. Seminarians from the North American College provided the music. Father Angelo Romano, rector of the basilica, welcomed everyone to the church saying, “Cardinal George was a dear friend for me and for the Community of Sant’Egidio, which prays here.” “He loved that this basilica became a shrine for the new martyrs,” Romano said. In fact, Cardinal George was present at St. Bartholomew in 2002 when the small basilica was dedicated as a shrine to the “witnesses of the faith” from Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox traditions who were killed for their faith under the Nazis, the communists and military dictatorships. Letters, diaries, prayer books and liturgical vestments from many of the modern martyrs are displayed on the basilica’s side altars. Dominican Father Austin Litke attended the Mass and said that in the U.S. church Cardinal George “stood out among the bishops as a thinker and someone I could always listen to or read with great profit.” Litke met the cardinal in Washington, D.C., when he visited Dominican House of Studies for a conference. “He struck me as a man who had given himself to Christ and the church in such a way that he became a real face of the church for anyone he met,” Litke told the Catholic New World. The cardinal’s intellectual abilities came across in everything he did but there was more to him than that, the Dominican said. “While I would call Cardinal George a great ‘churchman’ of our times, it may be more accurate to say that he was one of the great preachers of the Gospel of our times.” Liaugminas said Cardinal George was greatly respected in Rome. “His insights on topics such as faith and reason, church and state, our American culture and global Catholicism were valued by many here. His ability to communicate those insights in a variety of different languages, and his comfort in relating to people from different continents and cultures — coming from his broad experience in mission work — meant that his presence was greatly sought-after for meetings and talks, both here and elsewhere,” he said. The young priest had a personal connection to Cardinal George. “Cardinal George was for me a pastor, as well as a spiritual and intellectual mentor,” he said. “The 17 years that Cardinal George was our archbishop spanned from my first year at Quigley, as a high school freshman, through my college and major seminary years, and through my first four years of priesthood.” As he progressed in his journey toward priesthood Cardinal George became more important in his discernment. Liaugminas would hear his talks and read his column in the Catholic New World and have one-on-one conversations. “There is a real formation that happens when you are shaped by a vision like his for so many years, at the culmination of which, he ordained me to the diaconate, and then to the priesthood — gifts for which I will remain eternally grateful.” “I think Cardinal George would have been deeply edified seeing all those here who experienced God’s grace in knowing him, and grateful to God that these relationships accompany us on through our journey to eternal life.” Cindy Wooden in Rome contributed to this article. For more coverage of the life and death of Cardinal George, visit cardinalfrancisgeorge.com.