LEWISTON – Bishop Richard J. Malone will preside at the 5 p.m. Inauguration Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, May 22, at Saints Peter and Paul Church.

Bishops, diocesan clergy and other distinguished guests will be in attendance. The Rev. Robert D. Lariviere, rector, will offer words of welcome before the Mass.

The official decree to elevate the church to basilica status will be read at the liturgy. The three symbols of a basilica will also be unveiled.

The first will be the unique Coat of Arms designed by James Charles Noonan Jr., a specialist in heraldry. It will feature the Keys of Peter, a symbol of the papacy and unique to a basilica as the pope’s church. It will also include symbols and colors of significance to the parish, the Diocese of Portland and the state.

The second symbol is the Tintinabulum, a specially designed bell mounted on a pole that was used to announce the passage of the pope through the streets of Rome.

The final symbol is the Ombrellino, or parasol, that was originally used as a canopy to protect the pope from the sun’s rays in processions. Its colors of gold and red are the original colors of the flag of the Holy See.

A banquet will follow the Mass at the Ramada Inn on Pleasant Street.

The Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Henchal, vicar general, will be the guest speaker.

There will also be brief remarks by other dignitaries in attendance.

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