Pilgrimage to Rome all set

Plans set for pilgrims to join archbishop as he receives pallium from pope in June

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Archbishop Michael Byrnes addresses the faithful of Guam at the ambo of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica just days after arriving on Guam in late November of 2016 after being named Coadjutor Archbishop of Agana by Pope Francis on Oct. 31, 2016. He is now fully our Metropolitan Archbishop of Agana. (UMSY file photo by Robert Tenorio.)

By Tony C. Diaz
Umatuna Si Yu’os

The Archdiocese of Agaña has -solidified details for a pilgrimage to Rome, Italy to celebrate the historic occasion of Archbishop Michael Byrnes receiving a pallium from Pope Francis.

The “Celebration of the Conferral of the Pallium” pilgrimage will take place June 24 to July 1 and is being coordinated by Father Ron Richards, the Chancellor of our archdiocese.

Last week, the archdiocese had announced that Archbishop Michael Byrnes will be among newly named archbishops who will travel to Rome to receive palliums from Pope Francis and concelebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica June 29.

The pallium is a woolen band that symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him.

Archbishop Byrnes became the undisputed shepherd of the Catholic faithful on Guam and Metropolitan Archbishop of Agaña last April 4 when the Vatican upheld a guilty verdict against former archbishop Anthony Apuron for sexual abuse of youths in past years.

The pilgrimage is open to everyone who wishes to celebrate the momentous event with Archbishop Byrnes in Rome.

The highlight will take place on day six of the pilgrimage. On that day, Saturday, June 29 the pilgrims will participate in the Pallium Mass which Archbishop Byrnes and other -archbishops will celebrate with the Holy Father at St. Peter’s Basilica. The celebration will continue with a reception after Mass with Archbishop Byrnes and the newly installed archbishops from North America at the Pontifical North America College.

Persons who sign up for the pilgrimage will travel to Rome on independently scheduled flights on day one, Monday June 24.

The Pallium Mass is celebrated on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul at St. Peter’s Basilica every year on June 29.

Worn around the shoulders of the archbishops the palliums are about three inches wide and have a 14-inch strip hanging down the front and the back. The strips are finished with black silk, almost like the hooves of a sheep an archbishop is symbolically carrying over his shoulders.

Though Pope Francis will present the pallium to Archbishop Byrnes and the other archbishops in Rome, most likely in private, the actual imposition of the woolen band is to take place in the respective archbishops’ archdioceses in the presence of their faithful and bishops from neighboring dioceses.

In the case of our archdiocese, Most Rev. Novatus Rugambawa, D.D. the Apostolic Delegate to the countries of the Pacific will travel here for a solemn Mass which will see him place the pallium upon Archbishop Byrnes, for all the faithful on Guam to witness. The archdiocese will announce the date of that event once the schedule is established with the office of the Delegate.

In addition to Catholics from Guam, faithful from the Archdiocese of Detroit, archbishop’s former archdiocese, are expected to join the young archbishop on the pilgrimage.

Packets at four sites

Interested persons may get copies of the informational packet with application forms at four locations: The Chancery front office on San Ramon Hill; The Cathedral-Basilica Pastoral Center in Hagatna; St. Anthony Catholic Church office in Tamuning; and Santa Barbara Catholic Church office in Dededo.

The packet can also be accessed on-line by visiting the Archdiocese of Agana website at https://aganaarch.org.

Persons may also send e-mail to palliumguam@gmail.com, for more information.