WelCom December 2023
Archbishop of Wellington Paul Martin sm received his Metropolitan Archbishop’s pallium and also blessed the iconic Holy Mary Mother of God artwork during the same 5pm Mass at St Mary of the Angels Church in Wellington, on Sunday 5 November.
The pallium – a white band of lamb’s wool adorned with black crosses and worn over the shoulders and chasuble – is the traditional, historic insignia of a metropolitan archbishop of the Catholic Church and is bestowed by the Pope.
A metropolitan archbishop wears the pallium whenever he is present at a liturgical ceremony as Metropolitan. He also wears it for archdiocesan ceremonies such as the Chrism Mass and any major ceremonies at the Metropolitan Cathedral.
The rite was simple. After the formal process into the church, Bishop Stephen Lowe sat in a chair in front of the altar. Archbishop Martin knelt before him, professing his faith and taking the oath of fidelity. Bishop Lowe placed the pallium over Archbishop Martin’s shoulders. The Mass followed with Archbishop Martin presiding.
Speaking to the crowded church in his homily during Mass, Archbishop Martin said, ‘The pallium represents the unity of the Church coming from the apostolic succession of St Peter. The Metropolitan has some particular roles to play under the pastoral authority of the Pope. It’s an ancient part of our Church tradition and I am extremely humble wearing it today.’
Five of the country’s six Catholic bishops took part in the Mass. With Archbishop Martin and Bishop Lowe were Bishop-elect Richard Laurenson (Hamilton, who will be ordained on 8 December), Bishop John Adams (Palmerston North) and Bishop Michael Dooley (Dunedin).