Family members of Archbishop of Houston-Galveston Daniel DiNardo on Monday traveled to Rome for his elevation to the cardinalate.
Peg Riesmeyer, Cardinal-designate DiNardo's twin sister, was born just nine minutes before her brother. Before leaving for Rome she reflected on the family's reaction to the news.
"No way could I have anticipated this particular blessing on him and on our family, so it's extraordinary. We're thrilled," she said.
Mrs. Riesmeyer said Cardinal-designate DiNardo was drawn to the priestly life at an early age. As a child he even pretended to say Mass daily at a homemade altar. "We always knew that he was going to be a priest and I wasn't even as surprised when he became a bishop because I always thought he had the qualities to be a good bishop."
She said, "You always think there's something wrong when you get a phone call at 5 in the morning, but Dan called and first thing he said was 'This is not bad. Don't worry.' And then told us that he had been named a cardinal and it was just a stunning moment."
Mrs. Riesmeyer considered how their parents, now deceased, would have reacted to the news their son had been elevated to the cardinalate.
"That to me is one of the biggest thrills is how happy they would be. They were elated when he became a bishop, that their son received those honors, so I can imagine that they are just rejoicing in heaven that this happened to their son," she said.
About 1.3 million Catholics live in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Cardinal-designate DiNardo will become Texas' first cardinal after his official elevation on Saturday.