Coat of Arms & Pallium
Archbishop Exner's Coat of Arms
In technical heraldic language, the coat of arms of Archbishop Exner is described as:
Vert rising to foothills or mountains argent and sky azure, three garbs or a book argent and sable imposed on the centre garb and intervening spaces superimposed by a crosier centered sable; in chief radiant or a cross sable with spear and sponge saltire on a grassy mound; the processional cross centered behind shield and motto ribbon surrounded by the Archbishop's hat and ten tassels vert.
The motto is: TO SERVE AS HE SERVED.
Archbishop Exner's own coat of arms shows the Oblate cross at the top. Together with the book and pastoral staff found in the central part of the shield, it recalls the threefold ministry of Christ, the ministry passed on to the Apostles and their successors.
The cross symbolizes Christ's priesthood, and speaks of His lifegiving ministry. The pastoral staff is a reminder of the bishop's role as shepherd of God's people. The book is a symbol of Christ the teacher and of the bishop's work as a teacher of the faith.
The mountains represent the terrain of Kamloops, Archbishop Exner's first diocese. The three sheaves of wheat are found also in the coat of arms of the Province of Saskatchewan, and proclaim Archbishop Exner's Prairie roots and farming experience.
The Archbishop's personal coat of arms was impaled with the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. This heraldic convention places the symbols mentioned above in the right half of the shield, compressing the archdiocesan arms in the left half.
Archbishop Adam Exner, OMI, received the pallium, symbol of his authority as a metropolitan Archbishop, from the hands of Pope John Paul II on the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, 1991.
The Pallium is a circular band of white wool about two inches wide, with two pendants hanging down front and back. It is ornamented with six dark crosses of silk, and is worn over the liturgical vestments.
The pallium is made (at least partially) from the wool of lambs – suggesting Christ, the Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd – presented each year to the Pope on the feast of St. Agnes.
Church law requires a metropolitan to request the pallium from the Pope, either personally or by proxy, within three months of episcopal ordination or transfer. The pallium is worn only within the Archbishop's ecclesiastical province.
With the Pope Imposing the pallium, the Holy Father prayed:
“To the glory of Almighty God and the praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Apostles Peter and Paul, for the honour of the Church which has been placed in your care, and as a symbol of your authority as metropolitan archbishop: we confer on you the pallium, taken from the tomb of Peter to wear within the limits of your ecclesiastical province.
May this pallium be a symbol of unity and a sign of your communion with the Apostolic See, a bond of love, and an incentive to courage. On the day of the coming and manifestation of our great God and chief shepherd, Jesus Christ, may you and the flock entrusted to you be clothed with immortality and glory. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”