Dear friends in Christ,
Allow me to extend to you a personal invitation to join me on a journey of faith to the Eternal City – Rome – and the heart of our Church for a pilgrimage during which, as the new Archbishop of Baltimore, I will receive the pallium from the hand of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
The pallium, a circular band of wool worn around the neck, is given by the Holy Father to all the newly named archbishops from around the world at a special Mass at the Vatican each year on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.
The pallium symbolizes the care of the Good Shepherd for his people and is a symbol of our unity with the Holy Father. Pope Benedict himself explains that the pallium “recalls Christ’s lambs and sheep, which the Lord has entrusted to Peter with the task of tending to them, and also recalls Christ himself who, as the Good Shepherd, takes upon his shoulders the lost sheep – humanity – to bring them home.”
During this pilgrimage, we will pray and worship in the places of the early Christian saints and martyrs, touching the very foundations of our faith, and discovering the hidden treasures of these beautiful cities. The celebration of the Eucharist will nourish us spiritually every day. Our local Church will be linked to the Church universal through our prayer and in the person of our Holy Father, in the City made holy by the preaching and the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul.
As all of these graces approach, it is my hope and prayer that you will be able to join me on this very special pilgrimage of faith.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend William E. Lori
Archbishop-designate of Baltimore