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Indy archbishop's last mass attended by nearly 1,000

Posted at 12:17 PM, Dec 04, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – Within the past four years Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin has hit a few milestones, including being named a Cardinal by Pope Francis – one of the highest positions in the church.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered to honor the religious leader Saturday as he now will serve as the archbishop in New Jersey.

The room at Saints Paul and Peter Cathedral was full as Tobin held his last mass in the Indianapolis community.

Many of those who attended reflected on fond memories of Tobin.

“He is so personable,” said Elizabeth Fallis. “I love the way he gets down with the children, with the elderly, with the other people."

Sylvia Rust said she was even surprised when Tobin spoke her native language to her.

“I am originally from Poland and he spoke polish to me one time and I go ‘wow!’” Of course he's not polish, so it was very special,” she said.

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The mass was held exactly four years after he was installed as the archbishop of Indianapolis. He will leave Indy shortly after Christmas.

"We're sad for us, but we really want to just encourage him and give him a good kick-off,” said Rebecca Blanford, parishioner at the church.

Following the service Tobin met the crowd across the street at the Catholic Center for a reception where he gave words of encouragement to Hoosiers.

“My experience of people in Indiana is their goodness and I think there has been certain appeals of sort of the dark side of human beings, and I don't think that's going last long in Indiana,” said Tobin. “We respect each other, we care for each other, and I have every hope that Indiana is going to continue to be a welcoming place."