Sacred pallium conferred on Archbishop Byrnes

Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes (PNC file photo)

The Archdiocese of Agaña marked a joyful and historic event with the Investiture of the Sacred Pallium on Archbishop Michael Byrnes over the weekend.

Pope Francis celebrated an annual pallium Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome last June 29. Archbishop Byrnes of Agana was among 30 newly named archbishops from throughout the world who were in attendance to concelebrate the Mass presided by Pope Francis.

A pallium is a three-inch-wide band worn around the neck and shoulders, over mass vestments. It is worn and symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him.

The sacred garment is 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.

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The pope blessed the palliums, which was conferred on the archbishop by the pope’s representative, the Most Rev. Novatus Rugambwa, Apostolic Delegate to the Pacific states.

The ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at the  Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna.