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Special ‘Pallium’ Mass on Tuesday

Apostolic Nuncio His Excellency Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu will officially impose Archbishop Jason Gordon with the pallium which he received from Pope Francis, June 29 at a 5 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday.

The pallium is a white wool vestment, adorned with six black silk crosses. Dating back to at least the fifth century, the wearing of the pallium by the pope and metropolitan archbishops symbolises authority as well as unity with the Holy See.

A Catholic News Agency report in January 29, 2015 said that as a sign of “synodality” with local churches, Pope Francis has decided that new metropolitan archbishops will officially be imposed with the pallium in their home diocese, rather than the Vatican.

“The meaning of this change is to put more emphasis on the relationship of the metropolitan archbishops—the newly nominated—with their local Church,” Msgr Guido Marini, Papal Master of Ceremonies, told Vatican Radio January 29.

By having the official imposition ceremony in the archbishop’s home diocese, more faithful and bishops in dioceses under the archbishop’s jurisdiction will be able to attend the event, “which is so meaningful to them,” he said.

Traditionally, the pope bestows the pallium to the new archbishops June 29 each year, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The rite is a sign of communion with the See of Peter.

It also serves as a symbol of the metropolitan archbishop’s jurisdiction in his own diocese as well as the other particular dioceses within his ecclesiastical province.

Bishop Francis Alleyne of Georgetown, Guyana and Bishop Karel Choennie of Paramaribo, Suriname are expected to attend as both dioceses belong to the Province of Port of Spain.

Clergy, religious, parish representatives, archdiocesan commission and department heads/representatives and the faithful are invited to attend this special liturgy. – KJ