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Archbishop DiNardo to receive pallium in Rome

By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
(Email Renee)

The miter, shepherd's staff, crosier and ring are all symbols of the office of the bishop. Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo, the former bishop of Sioux City who now serves as the head shepherd of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, will receive a pallium with other new archbishops from around the world as a symbol of his new office.

According to David Wood, the director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the Holy Father will confer the pallium, the ensignia of a metropolitan archbishop, upon Archbishop DiNardo on June 29 at the Vatican in St. Peter Basilica.

He pointed out that the Pallium Mass is traditionally held on June 29, which is the feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul.

"For the archbishop to receive the pallium, that gives the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston reason to celebrate," said Father Clint Ressler, vocations director of the archdiocese. "We are celebrating both the welcoming of a new shepherd for our church and his direct connection to the Holy Father. In his unity to the Holy Father, is our unity as a local church to the universal church. We are celebrating that unity among Catholics."

With that in mind, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has organized a Pallium Pilgrimage to Rome through Best Catholic Pilgrimages.

In addition to the Pallium Mass, one of the highlights of the pilgrimage will be a Mass of Thanksgiving to be celebrated at St. Paul's Outside the Walls on June 30, the day after the Pallium Mass. Wood is organizing a small choir for the Mass of Thanksgiving.

Father Ressler mentioned that following the Pallium Mass, a reception would be held at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

"There will be a couple of American metropolitan archbishops who will be receiving the pallium. The North American College will be hosting a reception for them and all of their guests," noted the priest.

If people from the Diocese of Sioux City are interested in joining in this pilgrimage, they should contact the travel agency that is arranging this trip. Call Best Catholic Pilgrimages at 1-800-908-2378 to check for availability as soon as possible. The travel agency mentioned that the land services would not be as difficult to arrange as the air travel due to heavy traffic with the World Cup soccer tournament in Europe.

The Pallium Pilgrimage to Rome is slated for June 25. Highlights of that trip will be sightseeing on June 27, attending the papal audience on June 28 with a visit to the Tomb of Pope John Paul II and additional sights, attendance at the Pallium Mass on June 29 and additional sights on June 30 along with the Mass of Thanksgiving. Father Ressler will serve as the spiritual advisor for the pilgrimage.

"It will be a really nice trip," said Wood. "If people from the Diocese of Sioux City were able to go, that would be wonderful and I think Archbishop DiNardo would be appreciative."

Father Ressler said for those that know Archbishop DiNardo, his receiving the pallium would give them a good reason for a trip to Rome "with all of its wonderful treasures that are there of the faith, history, art and culture."

The Pallium Mass, he added, would also give people a great opportunity to witness a papal ceremony and be in the presence of the Holy Father.

In addition to the main pilgrimage, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has also arranged for an optional post-trip from July 1 to 4 that will include stops in Assisi, Florence and Milan.

The bishop had served in Sioux City from 1997 to 2004. In January of that year, he was named coadjutor bishop of the Texas diocese. In 2004 Galveston-Houston was named an archdiocese. Upon the retirement of Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, it was announced on Feb. 28 of this year that Archbishop DiNardo was the official chief shepherd of Galveston-Houston.

"For Archbishop DiNardo, for him returning to Rome, he is going to a special place because of his history there," noted Father Ressler, who explained that Archbishop DiNardo went to seminary in Rome and worked at the Vatican. "He will be looking forward to reconnecting with many of his friends."

If people from this diocese opt to go make their own arrangements to attend the Pallium Mass, they must request a ticket for admission to the liturgy. They can obtain a ticket through the Bishops' Office for U.S. Visitors to the Vatican that distributes admission tickets to papal ceremonies.