Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 12, 1999
Reflections on the pallium
By ARCHBISHOP THOMAS COLLINS
Special to the WCR
We all live at the end of the 20th century, but the reference to St. Peter in the ceremony of the pallium is a reminder that our particular generation of Christians is only one small part of the Church in history, one small part of the communion of saints.
In the same way, even within that small part of the family of faith alive in the world in this moment of history, we in Canada are only a tiny portion.
It is humbling, and at the same time encouraging, to realize our small role in the universal Church because since our region of the world is relatively rich, we can lose a liberating sense of proportion. We are not the Church of Canada, we are the Church, in Canada.
Thirty-seven archbishops received the pallium on June 29 - 14 from Latin America, seven from Africa, 10 from Europe, four from Asia and two from Canada. That gives a good sense of the universal Church of which we are privileged to be a part.
In the Archdiocese of Edmonton we have been richly blessed and, like every generation of disciples, we face the challenge of bringing the light of Christ into a world much in need of that light. This is the mission above all of the lay people of the Church - to let Gospel values be known through word and action and example.
From among the 300,000 Catholics of this archdiocese, we also need to identify those being called by God to serve as sisters, brothers and priests, and to encourage them to enter into the adventure of apostolic service.
We all experience the cares and joys of discipleship in our small part of the Church in space and time and prayerfully seek to know God's will and faithfully to do it.
The ceremony of the pallium situates our Christian life within the context of discipleship throughout history and around the world. That allows us to see and be strengthened by the ultimate reality - not our particular situation, but the all-embracing providence of God.