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Chrism Mass oils have power, Bishop says
The Catholic Virginian ^ | 3/24/2008 | Steve Neill

Posted on 03/25/2008 3:59:09 PM PDT by markomalley

photo:Priests and deacons from the 12 regions of the diocese hold the oils they will bring back to the parishes and Catholic hospitals in their regions.Chrism Mass oils have power, Bishop says

By Steve Neill
of The Catholic Virginian

Catholics gathered at this year’s Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart were asked to be more than “tepid and lukewarm” in the practice of their faith and to take seriously Jesus’ challenge of making the world a better place.

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the challenge in his homily at the annual Holy Week liturgy March 17 at which he blesses the Oil of the Sick and Oil of Catechumens and consecrates the Chrism which is used in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.

photo:Priests renewed their promises to the bishop as part of the rite of the Chrism Mass.“You and I have to have a well-formed conscience if we are going to do the right thing,” Bishop DiLorenzo asserted.

photo:Bishop DiLorenzo greets Father Timothy Keeney of St. Anne’s, Bristol, as he hands him the oils for Region 10.“You do that by listening to Jesus in the Word of God through scripture.”

The Church’s sacraments also strengthen Catholic Christians as they seek to do the right thing, he added.

But there are daily struggles and living the full Catholic Christian life is often a struggle, the Bishop acknowledged.

“We struggle and we wrestle with it,” the bishop said. “But we do make a difference in the global community.”

Bishop DiLorenzo said that fully initiated Catholic Christians can and should take on the challenge associated with the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death. Other challenges in which they can work included the sanctity of married life and family life, helping the poor and persons with disabilities and people who are ill. There are also issues of poverty and the economy, he said, which affect the global community.

photo: Ross and Elizabeth Yaple of Cathedral parish, Richmond, carry the Oil of the Catechumens after it had been blessed. Ross, who was previously baptized, is a candidate in the RCIA and Elizabeth is a catechumen. Both were to be fully initiated into the sacramental life of the Church at the Easter Vigil.“These oils clearly are associated with prayer in a sacramental context,” he said. “Jesus is challenging you to come forward and make a difference.”

Bishop DiLorenzo said the Oil of the Sick represents a possibility of changing one’s life “while there is still time.”

“That oil and those prayers of the Church can turn us around to make the transition from this life to the next,” he said.

photo: After being consecrated by Bishop DiLorenzo, the Chrism is carried in an urn by Karel Bailey and Lucy Klaus, both of St. Theresa parish in Farmville. At the right, carrying the crystal decanter with balsam, is Dori Henninger of St. Joan of Arc parish, Yorktown. At the far left is Dorcas Kenne of St. Joan of Arc, who will be baptized at the Easter vigil.The sacred oils look ordinary in appearance, but have a power from the sacraments associated with them.

“Just remember,” Bishop DiLorenzo said, “just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.”

And the prayers over the oils and chrism were steeped in symbolism.

“It is from him that chrism takes its name and with chrism you have anointed for yourself priests and kings, prophets and martyrs,” Bishop DiLorenzo prayed.

photo:Justin Shaia transfers blessed oil into larger vessel. Assisting him is Mary Bellone. Mary Jo Kelly Awad looks on.Of the Oil of Catechumens which will be used at the Easter vigil liturgy in parishes where there is baptism of catechumens, the bishop prayed: “Lord God, protector of all who believe in you, bless this oil and give wisdom and strength to all who are anointed with it in preparation for their baptism.

“Bring them to a deeper understanding of the gospel, help them to accept the challenge of Christian living, and lead them to the joy of new birth in the family of your Church.”

During the liturgy both the laity and clergy were given the opportunity to renew their commitment of service to the Church.

The laity were asked to stand to make their commitment, followed then by the deacons, and lastly, the many priests who had come from all 12 regions of the diocese to renew the promises they had made at their ordination to the priesthood.

Representatives of the priests and deacons of all 12 regions were called forward to receive the oils from the Bishop to take to the parishes and Catholic hospitals in their respective regions.

TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Theology; Worship

1 posted on 03/25/2008 3:59:10 PM PDT by markomalley
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Chrism Mass oils have power, Bishop says

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2 posted on 03/25/2008 5:57:32 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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