Cardinal Dolan, pictured in the 1970 Glennon College yearbook photo. (Archdiocese of St. Louis)
Cardinal Dolan, seen here in a 1971 Glennon College yearbook photo. (Archdiocese of St. Louis)
Cardinal Dolan, seen here in a 1976 portrait. (Archdiocese of St. Louis)
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Two of Cardinal Timothy Dolan's closest friends say their friend is living the history he studied for years.
Cardinal Dolan is one of 115 Cardinals who will vote for the next pope. He's also on the list of favorites to become the next pope.
Monsignors Mike Turek and Rich Hanneke grew up with Cardinal Dolan. They've known him for 48 years.
"I can't believe all this is happening to him," said Turek. They understand why their friend is on the list of favorites. They know his greatness and goodness. He is a lover of people and a practitioner of the church.
"One of the most important things for a parish priest to do is to fall in love with his people," said Hanneke. His friend did that in every assignment.
The monsignors know a different Tim Dolan; the man who was a classmate, and now a best friend.
"Tim didn't have a halo on his head when we were in high school, he was just another kid in the class," said Turek.
"I'm Turkey and he's Hank," said Turek about the nicknames his friend gave the monsignors.
They said it's surreal to imagine their friend, the guy they vacation with, could be pope. They've shared so much together, including the important moments of their friend's life.
"This was a year ago February, when he was named the cardinal, notice the glow above his head," said Turek as he looked at pictures.
The monsignors know their lives will change, and their friendship will take a turn if their friend becomes their Holy Father.