Priests renew vows, sacred oils blessed during Holy Week Chrism Mass

By Aliceyn Magelky

      Nearly 115 priests, a dozen deacons and many area faithful filled the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo, on Tues., April 15 as Bishop John Folda invited the priests of the Diocese of Fargo to renew their commitment to priestly service during the annual Chrism Mass. This once-a-year Mass conducted during Holy Week marks one of the rare times in the year when all priests from across the expansive diocese come together.
      “…it is an occasion of special significance,” Bishop Folda noted. “For us priests, this is a blessed opportunity to return to that sacred moment when the bishop laid his hands upon us, prayed over us and anointed us with the sacred Chrism.”
      Bishop Folda continued to encourage priests across the diocese by recalling the words of St. Gregory the Great who called himself the “servant of the servants of God.” Bishop Folda said, “Are we not servants, whose calling and mission is to serve all of God’s servants?”
      Bishop Folda concluded with a request for prayer for all priests and said, “As priests, we belong to Christ, and therefore we belong to you, to the Church. We are ordinary men who have been given the privilege to carry out extraordinary works in the name of Jesus. And so, we need your prayers…if we are to persevere in living out this anointing of our priestly lives.”
      Also, during this solemn Mass, Bishop Folda blessed and distributed the three sacred oils – sacred Chrism oil, oil of the catechumens and oil of the sick – used in the sacraments and special blessings performed throughout the diocese in the coming year.
      According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1294, “Anointing with oil has all these meanings in the sacramental life. The pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of catechumens signifies cleansing and strengthening; the anointing of the sick expresses healing and comfort. The post-baptismal anointing with sacred Chrism in confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration. By Confirmation Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off ‘the aroma of Christ.’”

For Bishop Folda's complete homily, click here.

For pictures taken during the Mass, click here.

Other News Sources • New Earth serves Catholic parishes as the official newspaper of the Diocese of Fargo

• TV Mass is available at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday on WDAY-TV6, Fargo, and WDAZ-TV8, Grand Forks.
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