Archbishop Jose Gomez Travels to Rome | NBC Southern California

Archbishop Jose Gomez Travels to Rome

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez is visiting the Vatican this week to take part in a special pallium ceremony. A pallium is a special garment given to newly appointed archbishops by the Pope.

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    Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez is visiting the Vatican this week to take part in a special pallium ceremony. A pallium is a special garment given to newly appointed archbishops by the Pope. (Published Tuesday, June 28, 2011)

    Images of Pope John Paul II loom over St. Peter's square. They are remnants of last month's festivities celebrating his beatification.

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    But for the more than 250 people from the Los Angeles area in Rome this week, the focus is on Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez.

    "It's a big event for Los Angelenos to have a archbishop receive a pallium. It's a big event, not only in his life, but it's been 25 years since we've had a new archbishop," according to Nora Urrea, an Arcadia resident.

    Nora and Paul Urrea traveled from Arcadia to be a part of the Archbishop's pallium ceremony. A pallium is a special garment given to newly appointed archbishops by the Pope.

    "It's just an amazing occasion for us to be here and participate," says Pat Michel, a resident from Yorba Linda.

    For the Michels of Yorba Linda, coming on the pallium pilgrimage was also a special way to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

    "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I immediately said yes, then in turn we extended the trip another two weeks to celebrate our anniversary," says Joe Michel, a resident from Yorba Linda.

    The LA contingent is staying at a hotel in the shadows of the Pantheon. The city's rich history and the significance of the pallium ceremony is not lost on one of the youngest parishioners to make the trip.

    "My parents have instilled my faith in me at a very young age, so it was important for me to see where it all started, and where it came from," says Veronica Sanchez, from Whittier.