- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 3, 2003

WASHINGTON — One week after his death at age 100, Bob Hope’s life and career were celebrated at a Mass in the District.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, was friends with the comedian and wife Dolores for more than 30 years. They met while Cardinal McCarrick was secretary to then-New York Cardinal Terence J. Cooke, who was also responsible for Catholics serving in the military.

Cardinal McCarrick presided over Sunday’s memorial Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Hopes had a special connection to the cathedral. In 1994 the couple donated the Chapel of Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain, France, in honor of Bob Hope’s mother.

“Not just because of the name, but I guess also because of the great devotion of Mrs. Hope, Bob and Dolores agreed to put this chapel in,” Cardinal McCarrick said.

“He was a man who really understood people’s feelings and what would make them smile and what would make them laugh,” Cardinal McCarrick said.

“I know that Dad is looking down saying, ‘Well, I just got another audience,’” Kelly Hope, the couple’s youngest son, quipped. “Everyone loved my father, as he did everyone.”

A large picture of a smiling Bob Hope was on display in the front of the church. Kelly Hope was grateful for the turnout, estimated at about 800 people. “He took all the time in the world for everyone else, and it’s nice for everyone to pay homage to him,” he said.

“Bob’s enthusiasm for life and passion for his work spoke of a remarkable man, a champion of American principles and ideals, and a stedfast advocate of those who so gallantly defended them,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi, who represented President Bush at the service. Mr. Hope spent years entertaining troops in four wars.

“He made them smile on the battlefields. He made them smile on the ports of call of the sailors. He made them smile in air bases, sometimes in most dangerous places,” Cardinal McCarrick told the crowd.

Bob Hope died July 27 of pneumonia at his Toluca Lake, Calif., home, with his family at his bedside.

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