I was honoured and privileged to receive the pallium from the hands of our Holy Father Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica last Sunday, 29 June 2014, the Solemnity of Ss Peter & Paul. The pallium is a symbol of communion between the Holy Father, the Successor of St Peter, and the Archbishop and the Churches of his province, and It was a very humbling moment when I knelt before the Holy Father and he placed the pallium on my shoulders.
In his homily, Pope Francis reminded us that we are called to follow Jesus Christ in preaching the Gospel: ‘Follow me by the witness of a life shaped by the grace you received in Baptism and Holy Orders. Follow me by speaking of me to those with whom you live, day after day, in your work, your conversations and among your friends. Follow me by proclaiming the Gospel to all, especially to the least among us, so that no one will fail to hear the word of life which sets us free from every fear and enables us to trust in the faithfulness of God.’
I hope and pray that, by the intercession of Ss Peter & Paul, all of us in the Archdiocese and Province of Liverpool – Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful alike – will follow Christ more closely every day in our parishes, schools, chaplaincies and communities, proclaiming his Kingdom in our midst and giving glory to God in all that we say and do.
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool