Tuesday, June 22, 2010


On Tuesday, 29 June 2010 Pope Benedict will confer the pallium upon newly-named archbishops in the context of the celebration of the Eucharist on the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul. Folks probably know that the pallium is a stole-like, scarf-like vestment given to archbishops to signify their authority and their being linked to the See of Rome. Made from wool shorn from sheep specially blessed on 21 January, the feast of St. Agnes (whose name is a variant on agnus, or “lamb”), these pallia will repose overnight in a chest in the confessio, or area below the high altar of St. Peter’s, in front of the Apostle’s tomb.

Thirty-eight new archbishops will be so honored, and my point in writing this is to offer a glimpse into the catholicity of the Church. Countries to be represented in this year’s ceremony are:
Ecuador Zimbabwe Lesotho Brazil Canada
Italy Angola Philippines Mexico England
Spain USA Cameroon Slovenia South Africa
Belgium Colombia Panama India Czech Republic
Korea Poland Vietnam Ghana Madagascar

Some countries, of course, will represented by more than one new archbishop (for example, Italy, Spain, USA, England). But the breadth of the geography is striking. It is also a matter for rejoicing. And it is a matter us in the USA to celebrate, as well: immigrants from these countries find their way to our shores, and we can enjoy the diversity of the world in our own land, with all the gifts the world brings from their unique cultures, languages and enthusiasm. The Church is (and we are) truly blessed!

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