CHICAGO -- Eleven months after being announced as archbishop here in Chicago, Blasé Cupich has met many people, said mass at dozens of parishes throughout the archdiocese and made quite an impression on the people of Chicago. Officially he has been the archbishop, however today here at Holy Name Cathedral, he donned the symbol of that leadership.
A jubilant Archbishop Cupich made his way to the alter at Holy Name, a procession he's anticipated for months. Then bowing his head in a moment of reflection ... a celebration came full circle as apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, bestowed the holy vestment on Chicago’s archbishop. The pallium is a tiny piece of cloth – that carries a huge weight of responsibility.
Archbishop Cupich: “When I take this upon my shoulders I do so happily and with great coincidence in the city of big shoulders.”
And now he gets to wear the vestment upon his shoulders. On June 29th, wearing a huge smile – walking down the aisle at St. Peter’s Basilica after just receiving the pallium from Pope Francis – Archbishop Blasé Cupich knew he couldn’t put it on. But he was excited to show off the symbol of his leadership in the Catholic Church in Chicago. Made from the wool of two lambs – to look as if a shepherd had a sheep draped over his neck – the black of the hooves and the white of the coat – carried like the archbishop carries the troubles of is flock.
Archbishop Cupich: "We know the value of lifting to shoulder level the lost, for we have been lost ourselves."
In a break from church tradition, this is the first time the pallium would be worn initially, not in a ceremony at the Vatican but at home in front of the people of the archdiocese. For archbishop Cupich, here at Holy Name Cathedral.
Another ceremony under his belt it's back to the business of running the Archdiocese of Chicago, expanding the social reach of the churches activities, and dealing with major financial stresses. Archbishop Cupich says he is up for the challenge.