They say behind every great man is a great woman and it turns out Archbishop Timothy Dolan, 61, is no exception.

Shirley Dolan, 83, is the Archbishop’s mother and she’s already planning her tenth trip to Rome, or as she's calling it her 'grand finale.'

The occasion this time will be to watch her son become Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a so-called prince of the church.

'I’m proud of him as I am the rest of them,' she told the New York Daily News this week with an Irish mother's diplomacy. 'I'm proud of him because he knew what he wanted to do and he shot for it, and he got there. And he’s so contented.'

In the hours before Pope Benedict made the announcement to the world, Dolan called his mother to say hello.


Read more:

Cardinal Dolan talks modern society and how sex is debased to “animal rutting”

Churches that play politics should pay taxes

Archbishop Timothy Dolan's gay bashing letter to President Obama

'Hi Mom, I’m OK, how are you doing?' Dolan reportedly said and then talked for a full ten minutes before filling her on on his promotion.

'Oh Mom, by the way, the Pope will be announcing tomorrow that I will be made cardinal,' Dolan said.

'I’m so proud of you,' his mother told him, beaming at his advancement. 'I’m proud of you too, Mom,' he reportedly replied.

'I really didn’t think it would be this soon, but I can’t say I was surprised,' she explained. 'I knew he would go all the way.'

And could Dolan ever become the first American Pope, as many have speculated?

'The closer it gets, the more possible it seems,' his proud mother replied. 'Anything’s possible but it would be very far-fetched, I believe. We’ve never had an American Pope and I just can’t see that happening. But they’d be wise if they did.'

Dolan will be made a cardinal at the Vatican on February 18. Shirley Dolan and twenty two of her relatives will attend.

Timothy Dolan's mother ShirleyDEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS