Pope Francis greets Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, during a private meeting in 2017 at the Vatican. Cardinal DiNardo was discharged from St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston after suffering what doctors confirmed was a mild stroke March 15. (CNS, via L’Osservatore Romano)

HOUSTON (CNS) — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been discharged from St. Joseph Medical Center and “has entered a standard rehabilitation program” to continue his recovery from a mild stroke.

“Based on recent trends, doctors expect the cardinal to make a full recovery,” said a news release issued late March 20 by the archdiocese.

Cardinal DiNardo, 69, was leading an evening Lenten observance of the Stations of the Cross March 15 when he fell ill. He was taken to the hospital after experiencing symptoms of what tests March 16 confirmed was a mild stroke.

“I could not be more grateful to the truly wonderful doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s for their expert care and compassion, which has helped hasten my way down the road to a full recovery,” Cardinal DiNardo said in a statement.

“I am also doubly thankful for the many kind wishes and especially the prayers that have been directed toward my healing, which I can assure you are making a true difference,” he added. “I look forward to getting back to work soon and continuing the important work we have before us.”

“We join with the archdiocese in continued prayers for the cardinal’s full recovery,” the USCCB said.

During his recovery, Cardinal DiNardo has assigned his USCCB duties to Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gómez, vice president of the conference, as provided for in the USCCB bylaws.

Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Gomez were elected USCCB president and vice president, respectively, during the bishops’ annual fall general assembly in Baltimore in November 2016. They began their three-year terms at the close of the meeting.

The cardinal served as USCCB vice president for three years before being elected president. He has headed the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston since 2006, when as coadjutor archbishop, he immediately succeeded Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza when he retired. Then-Archbishop DiNardo was named a cardinal in 2007, making him the first cardinal from Texas.