The late Cardinal Edward Egan, the retired archbishop of New York who led the archdiocese through a tumultuous period, will be eulogized Tuesday with a funeral Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and entombed in its crypt.
Egan, archbishop from 2000 to 2009 and one of the most visible church leaders in the United States, died Thursday of cardiac arrest. He was 82.
The funeral Mass is scheduled to begin with a procession at 1:30 p.m. It is to be preceded by public visiting from 7 to 11 a.m.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Egan's successor, will preside over the Mass. Afterward, Egan will be entombed in a crypt underneath the cathedral's gold altar. Dolan is to say a final blessing in the crypt, where he will be joined by other church leaders and members of Egan's family.
Egan will be buried next to his immediate predecessor, Cardinal John J. O'Connor -- the last archbishop laid to rest in St. Patrick's. O'Connor was archbishop from 1984 until his death in May 2000.
Several other notable Catholics are buried in the crypt, including Pierre Toussaint, a Haitian slave who bought his freedom in New York and became a major supporter of Catholic charity work.
Egan's body was taken to the cathedral Monday morning, opening two days of mourning for New York's eighth archbishop. Public visiting also took place Monday afternoon and was followed by a 6 p.m. vigil Mass.
He was the first archbishop in the archdiocese's 200-year history to retire. All the others died while holding the post.
Egan came to the New York archdiocese in 2000 after serving 12 years as bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut. The year after, Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal.
His tenure came at a difficult time, encompassing the churchwide sexual-abuse scandal, major financial problems, declining church attendance, dwindling ranks of priests and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In his first two years in New York, he eliminated a $20 million annual operating deficit. He went on to close 20 parishes -- an unpopular decision among some Catholics. Supporters said he made the difficult decisions needed to keep the archdiocese afloat.
In a statement, the archdiocese said that during Egan's tenure as archbishop, "the number of registered parishioners increased by 204,000, the budget of Catholic Charities more than doubled, enrollment in Catholic elementary and secondary schools grew by 15,400, the archdiocesan newspaper became the largest in the nation, and the archdiocese and its various agencies were made debt-free."
He also opened a new facility for the Saint John Neumann Seminary and Hall in Yonkers, and established the John Cardinal O'Connor Residence for retired priests of the archdiocese in the Riverdale area of the Bronx, the archdiocese said.
In 2006, he inaugurated the "Catholic Channel" on Sirius / XM Satellite Radio, providing Catholic programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the United States and Canada.
He hosted Pope Benedict XVI during his historic visit to the city in April 2008.
At 6-foot-4, with a deep voice and polished homilies, Egan was an imposing figure. He was fluent in Italian, French, Spanish and Latin, played classical piano and read physics. He contracted polio as a child but recovered, though in recent months his legs started to fail him, Dolan said.
He was born April 2, 1932, in Oak Park, Illinois, and ordained as a priest in December 1957 in the Chicago archdiocese.
Nearly half his career was spent in Rome as a student, teacher, canon lawyer and ecclesiastical judge. As bishop in Bridgeport, from 1988 to 2000, he reversed its debt, raising $45 million and closing or merging schools.
Egan previously served in New York from 1985 to 1988 as auxiliary bishop and vicar for education of the Archdiocese of New York.