Basilica of Holy Hill eagerly awaiting Cardinal Dolan celebrating Mass of Thanksgiving

CREATED Apr. 27, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Father Don Brick says the Basilica of Holy Hill is as ready as it will ever be in anticipation of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan coming to celebrate the Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Thousands are expected to see Dolan, the former Milwaukee archbishop, who was recently named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

Father Brick, the rector of Basilica of Holy Hill, told Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure they have room for about 1,500 people in the shrine -- as well as anywhere from 800-1,000 people in the overflow tent.

Father Brick has prepared for any inclement weather by having an outdoor tent just in case and told the show "Mother Nature won't kill a great day."

The archdiocese is very excited for their former archbishop, exclaimed Father Brick.  He said people around the archdiocese are speaking with "higher voices and more enthusiasm."

He considers this occasion to be a joyous occasion for both parties -- and a time to be thankful for all Cardinal Dolan has done for the church, as well as all the archdiocese has done for Cardinal Dolan.

The Journal Sentinel reports:

That in his tenure as archbishop of Milwaukee, (Cardinal) Timothy Dolan forged a special relationship with the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, at Holy Hill.

A Mary devotee, Dolan helped to win the Hubertus shrine's Vatican designation as a basilica, and he presided over a special Mass celebrating that honor in November 2006.

While the event is free of charge, the archdiocese is implementing a wristband system for attendees of all ages, in lieu of paper tickets.  Here is additional information for Holy Hill attendees, according to the Milwaukee Archdiocese:

-Grounds open at 5 a.m.
-Regular Masses will be held at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.
-Upper and lower churches will be cleared and closed at 12:15 p.m.
-Special disabled/wheelchair-user wristband distribution begins at 1:00 p.m.
-General admission wristband distribution begins at 1:30 p.m.
-All wristbands are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis
-One wristband per person-no group or multiple wristband distribution
-Seating available in both upper and lower churches
-Video monitors will be placed on the lower church
-Strollers are not allowed inside the church; parking will be provided
-A large TV monitor will transform the upper parking lot into an overflow viewing area
-Overflow area will be partially-covered and will feature limited seating and standing areas
-Shuttle buses will transport attendees to and from upper and lower parking areas
-The Rosary will be prayed prior to Mass at 4 p.m.
-Mass celebration begins at 4:30 p.m.

Father Brick is urging people not to camp out for the event -- as they will have people patrolling the grounds in anticipation of Saturday's big event.