Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia received a liturgical vestment known as the pallium in a local Mass over the weekend, breaking from the tradition of receiving it in a papal ceremony at the Vatican due to Covid-related travel restrictions.
The pallium is a vestment the pope and metropolitan archbishops wear in their churches. It is a white woolen stole adorned with six black crosses.
The pope traditionally bestows the stole to the new archbishops on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The rite is a sign of communion with the See of Peter.
However, with travel still restricted as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Perez instead received the pallium from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the pope’s apostolic nuncio to the U.S., at a Mass in Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
The Mass was held at 11 a. m. on July 19 and was livestreamed.
Perez was installed as the Archbishop of Philadelphia on February 18.
Born in Miami to Cuban parents, he is the first Hispanic bishop to lead the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He previously served as a priest in Philadelphia, an auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre and bishop of Cleveland.
The archbishop has worked extensively in Hispanic ministry and was part of the delegation that presented the conclusion of the National V Encuentro of Hispanic and Latino Ministry to Pope Francis in September 2019.
Perez chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.