Thousands awaiting Cardinal Dolan celebrating Mass of Thanksgiving

Thousands awaiting Cardinal Dolan celebrating Mass of Thanksgiving

By Annie Scholz. CREATED Apr 27, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 27, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Thousands of people are getting ready to welcome former Archbishop Timothy Dolan back for a special day as he holds mass Saturday at Holy Hill.

It's the first trip back since being elevated to the College of Cardinals, and it's the talk of the town.

Bilda's Friess Lake Pub is a hot spot on a Friday night, and the hot topic around the tables -- Cardinal Dolan's visit to nearby Holy Hill this weekend.  "It seems to be, you look around here, there certainly is," said John Freese.

Craig Schmidt told TODAY'S TMJ4, "I'm not even Catholic, I'm a WELS Lutheran but Timothy Dolan rocks."

Dolan will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving inside the chapel Saturday.  It's his first visit back to the area since becoming a Cardinal.

"He is so genuine, what you see is what you get with him," said Connie Pestka.  "He's just an amazing individual."

Connie and Laroy Pestka have met Cardinal Dolan multiple times -- even before he was Archbishop of Milwaukee.  As for meeting him again this weekend, "It's going to be crowded so I'm not even sure we could get in," said Laroy Pestka.

But many will try -- hoping to see a man of faith, in whom so many others have theirs.  "I think we're looking at our next pope.  I really do believe that," said Connie Pestka.

According to the Milwaukee Archdiocese:

• Mass will be celebrated rain or shine
• Attendees are advised to bring jackets and umbrellas
• Grounds open at 5 a.m.
• Regular Masses will be held at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.
• Parking for regular masses will be limited to lower level
• Upper and lower churches will be cleared and closed at 12:15 p.m.
• Special disabled/wheelchair-user wristband distribution begins at 1 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 available
• A large TV monitor will transform the upper parking lot into an overflow viewing area
• Shuttle buses will transport attendees to and from lower parking areas
• The Rosary will be prayed prior to Mass beginning at 4 p.m.
• Mass celebration begins at 4:30 p.m.