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Archbishop Bolen receives pallium from nuncio

By Frank Flegel


REGINA — Holy Rosary Cathedral was filled with the faithful who had come to witness Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi invest Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen with the pallium Nov. 27. Bonazzi is the representative of Pope Francis in Canada, and is a living reminder of the universality of the church.

The pallium is a liturgical vestment symbolizing the authority of Bolen as archbishop and metropolitan of Saskatchewan. “It is also a symbol of personal loyalty to the pope and thereby a sign of unity between a local church and the universal church,” according to the investiture program. The pallium is woven from lamb’s wool and is often described as a symbol of the archbishop as the shepherd of his flock.

Bonazzi conducted the introductory rites to open the service and gave a brief explanation of what the pallium symbolizes. Bolen knelt on the stairs leading to the sanctuary and Bonazzi, reciting a special prayer, descended the steps and placed the pallium over Bolen’s shoulders.

Cree elder Robert Bellegarde performed a smudging ceremony following the investiture and presented the nuncio with a beaded cross, which Bonazzi placed around his neck.

The Liturgy of the Word involved people reading in several languages representing the diversity of people in the archdiocese. This was followed by mass, with Bolen as presider and homilist.

Bolen began his homily by holding up an icon of Christ the Good Shepherd, a gift from Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon. He reflected on the Gospel readings of the day, and the day previous, in which Christ described himself as a shepherd who will look after his sheep: “All Christian ministry flows from this, including ministry symbolized by the pallium,” said Bolen. “But it’s not about the ministry of the metropolitan in isolation: we include everyone — bishops, clergy, members of religious communities and everyone sharing in the ministry. Each of us in a distinct way is called upon to share Christ’s ministry. We are all in this together.”

Bolen reflected on Jesus’ ministry as described in Luke and Matthew, in which Christ told his disciples to preach the Gospel and heal the sick and the wounded. He quoted Pope Francis, who said that the church needs to heal wounds and warm the hearts of the faithful, and should be like a field hospital after battle. The wounds have first to be healed, then we can talk about everything else.

The pallium is woven of wool from two lambs representing Christ the Lamb of God and Christ the Good Shepherd. The pope chooses the animals from a flock raised at the Convent of St. Agnes in Rome, then they are sent to the Benedictine Sisters of St. Cecilia in Trastevere, a district of Rome, where they are cared for and eventually shorn.

Once completed, the pallia are placed on the tomb of St. Peter on the evening of June 29, the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. The following day they are placed on the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, where the pope blesses them and places one on his own shoulders. They are then placed in a silver urn, enclosed in a cabinet, and placed under the altar on the tomb of St. Peter until they are taken out for particular investitures.

After Bolen’s investiture, the congregation was invited to a reception in the gymnasium of Holy Rosary School behind the cathedral.


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