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Catching Up With The Cardinal

Ang Santos

It’s been over two months since Cardinal Joseph Tobin arrived in Newark. 

“It’s been wonderful, it’s challenging, it’s a bit like drinking from the firehose every day, but I’m happy to be here,” Tobin told WBGO.

The former Archbishop of Indianapolis says he’s still adjusting to life in Newark.  He admits he’s yet to visit the great landmarks and eateries nearby, but he makes time for one of his favorite hobbies.

“I get to the gym every now and then.  So I try to do some aerobic, try to do some fitness, and I try to do a few things I don’t like to do.  Like sit-ups.”

Archbishop Tobin explains how the selfie has become a common occurrence with adoring kids across New Jersey. 

“When people ask me, ‘Are you the Cardinal?’, I say ‘Yeah, I play third base’.  I accept that part of my role is symbolic, and that’s ok.”

And accept it he must.  The Archdiocese of Newark oversees four New Jersey counties.  Bergen, Union, Hudson, and Essex.

“I think one of the challenges is how to divide your time.  This is a great archdiocese with incredible structures.  I can spend a lot of time in an office and maybe get something done.  But I think that can be seductive and I should watch that.  Make sure I get out and about.”

Tobin says he’s making it a point to tour different areas of the Archdiocese.

“Call it a mass and a town hall.  We’re going to do that in 27 different regions of the Archdiocese and give a chance to the people to see their Archbishop and give me a chance to listen to them.

It sounds like Archbishop Tobin, might even already have a little Jersey in em'.

“The pride that people have.  It’s not like ‘they’re not New York.  No, no, we’re New Jersey’ and I like that.”