By Emilie Ng
HOLY Week began in solidarity and fraternity for the 186 priests, bishops and deacons who publically renewed their vows at this year’s Chrism Mass held at St Stephen’s Cathedral on April 10.
The congregation at St Stephen’s Cathedral witnessed renewal of vows and the blessing of the oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick and the consecration of the chrism, a special oil made of olive and balsam.
Marsden’s parish priest Fr Sunil Paul said the Chrism Mass was a particularly important day for all those who have taken on the priestly vocation.
“The Chrism mass for me personally is about refreshing my own source, refreshing my own faith, and renewing my own commitment to Christ with all brother priests,” Fr Paul said.
Once priests and bishops renew their own priestly vows, special oils administered by them in the sacraments of initiation, healing of the sick and for anointing catechumens are blessed or consecrated.
Holy Spirit Home, Carseldine chaplain Fr Chris Hanlon said the Chrism Mass opened Holy Week, the season “where we look at the Sacramental life of the Church”.
“Then as a sign and a symbol of God’s love for us, along come the oils, which we then use in the seven sacraments,” he said.
Carmelite Father Jerome Watt from Coorparoo said the oils were a reminder that the Church needed continued healing.
“A very important part of our ministry is to heal those who are hurting, those in need of a touch of God,” Fr Watt said.
The blessed oils now replace any old oils used in the present liturgical year, with the new oils given to every parish throughout the archdiocese for the new year.
Before the Chrism Mass, the large gathering of priests, bishops, deacons, seminarians, residents of discernment program Canali House, the Vocation Brisbane office and Clergy Support Office staff celebrated at dinner.
During the dinner, all honoured Bishop-Elect Michael McCarthy, who be ordained as Rockhampton’s new bishop on May 29.