The Archdiocese of Agaña will mark a joyful and historic event with the “Investiture of the Sacred Pallium” on Archbishop Michael Byrnes 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatña.
Pope Francis’ representative, the Most Rev. Novatus Rugambwa, D.D., Apostolic Delegate in the Pacific Ocean, will confer a sacred pallium on Archbishop Byrnes during Mass.
A pallium is a three-inch-wide band worn around the neck and shoulders that is conferred to newly named archbishops. It is worn over Mass vestments and symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him.
Made of wool with a 14-inch strip hanging down the front and back, the pallium signifies the sheep the archbishop symbolically carries, as Christ the Good Shepherd did.
Archbishop Byrnes’ leadership as the shepherd of the Catholic faithful on Guam and Metropolitan Archbishop of Agaña was fully affirmed last April 4 when the Vatican announced it had upheld a guilty verdict against now Bishop Anthony Sablan Apuron for sexual abuse of youths in past years.
Pope Francis celebrated an annual pallium Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome last June 29. Archbishop Byrnes was among 30 newly named archbishops from throughout the world who traveled to Rome to concelebrate the Mass presided by Pope Francis. The pope blessed the palliums, which would later be conferred on the archbishops at their respective dioceses.
The Mass and investiture will be aired live on KUAM TV8 and Catholic Educational Radio, KOLG 90.9 FM. Additionally, KGTF Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will record the momentous occasion, working with KUAM.