MANGALURU, MARCH 30: The Chrism Mass- the largest annual gathering of clergy and faithful before the Holy Week, celebrated by Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the bishop of Mangalore on the evening of Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Rosario Cathedral, Mangalore, served as a unifying liturgical event for the diocese of Mangalore.
Bishop Saldnaha, said, “The true picture of the Universal Church, particularly the local church is very evident here today, as the bishop with his priests-the co-workers and the entire congregation with religious sisters and lay faithful have come together in unity to celebrate the Mass of Chrism.”
Priests prepare spiritually before Chrism Mass
Prior to the Chrism Mass, the diocesan clergy, who attended the Pastoral Consultation in the morning, took part in the recollection, confessions and adoration and celebrated the Chrism Mass with the bishop.
Rev. Fr Chetan Lobo CAP, Sevak Weekly editor and the manager, Assisi press, Mangalore animated the bishop and clergy. He spoke on disruption innovation in a priestly mission.
Fr Chetan said, "Jesus practised the disruptive discipline. His innovation disrupted the religious, political and social status quo of his time. He called those who were inexperienced to lead a new way of life. Jesus' teaching models were of disruptive nature and brought new thoughts and perspectives. He disrupted old ways, thoughts and teachings and brought innovation.”
In his homily, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha said, “Every Christian is anointed with the Holy Spirit from birth to death. The Indelible mark imprinted on us through the sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and /or Holy Orders give all of us a greater share in the priesthood of Christ. This sacramental character is the mark of the Lord’s faithfulness and hence, it calls us to be faithful to him”
“Today, we bless the Holy Oils that give us life and joy. God by His grace, fills us with His Holy Spirit, enabling us to live more like Christ, in whom the fullness dwells (Ephesians 5:18–20)” the bishop added.
Finally, the bishop urged the priests to live the mystery of Priesthood with more dignity.
Diocesan priests renew their priestly promises
Immediately after giving his homily at the Chrism Mass, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha led the assembled priests in their renewal of promises.
The congregation looked on as the bishop asked the priests to affirm the vows they made at ordination; strive to grow in union with Jesus while carrying out their priesthood; and fulfil their priestly commitments through the liturgy, teaching and self-sacrifice. After the priests assembled in the sanctuary responded in the affirmative, the bishop asked the congregation to pray for them and for him.
Right after the renewal of priestly promises, the deacons brought the sacred oils to the bishop. The bishop blessed the Oil of the Sick, designated for the anointing of the sick; and the Oil of the Catechumens, for anointing the unbaptised upon their initiation into the Catholic Church.
Finally, the bishop consecrated the Sacred Chrism, which is used for baptisms, confirmations, the ordination of priests and bishops, and to anoint altars and churches being dedicated. The chrism is scented with fragrant perfume, usually balsam.
All of the sacramental oils are pure olive oil with no preservatives. The parish priests or their representatives from throughout the diocese take the oils back to their respective faith communities for use throughout the year.
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