Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pope Declares Year of the Priests

Yesterday I attended the Diocese of Baton Rouge "Chrism Mass". The Mass of Chrism comes once a year to your cathedral. If you've never celebrated it, you're missing one of the most solemn and significant liturgies of our church. During the Mass, ther bishop will bless the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of chrism. We use the first for adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars. All three are basically an olive oil; chrism spices the air with the scent of a perfume, traditionally balsam. Bishop Robert Muench, along with the two deacons, Deacon Mark Beard and Deacon Paul Gros, both whom will be ordained in May, and with almost every Diocesesan priest and deacon, and those seminarians in formation, joined together in this beautiful liturgy. In looking across the altar and sacristy, it gives me great joy to tell you that my life has been personally effected by a vast majority of these men. God has truly blessed our diocese with these outstanding men whose life and dedication to building and serving God's Kingdom is admirable and perhaps under appreciated. To Bishop Muench and all those serving through the priesthood and diaconnate, God bless and thank you. Bishop Muench spoke in his homily that Pope Benedict XVI had just declared this the year of the priests, with special attention to St. Jean Vianney, the patron saint of priests. Let us do all we can to assist them in their service.

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