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Shepherd to his people

Although leadership in the Church, society and even in our homes continues to be an ongoing challenge,when the Apostolic Nuncio imposed the pallium on Archbishop Jason Gordon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday August 14, 2018,hope surged within, while the sound of Pope Francis’ advice to the world’s priestsdrummed upon memory, “Be shepherds with the smell of the sheep, in the midst of your people like Jesus the Good Shepherd”.

The pallium, a vestment worn around the neck is a strip woven of white lamb’s wool. It is about two inches wide, with six black crosses (three of the crosses have gold pins through them, reminiscent of the nails of Christ’s crucifixion) andusually conferred on metropolitan archbishops in Rome by the Holy Father (Archbishops Gilbert and Harris received theirs in this way).

In 2015, Pope Francis reverted to the ancient practice of blessing the two lambs raised by the Trappist monks outside Rome whose fleece is used to make the vestment, and handing over the pallium on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul onJune 29 (after it has been placed overnight on the tomb of St Peter). Later, at a formal public ceremony in the local archdiocese, amongst his sheep—the pallium is imposed upon the archbishop.

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