Bishop Malloy Celebrates Holy Week
As Catholics in the Rockford Diocese are restricted to their homes, Bishop David Malloy fills cathedral with faith.
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 16, 2020
DIOCESE—On Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday night and Easter Sunday Bishop David Malloy stood at his chair, or Cathedra as it known, in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford. 
This year his words fell into an echo and his eyes saw only empty pews because of “shelter-in-place” orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
Even with empty pews, the bishop’s celebration of Holy Mass and his words of encouragement were viewed by more than 30,000 people during the Triduum and on Easter Sunday thanks to online technology and the Rockford NBC affiliate, WREX Channel 13. 
On Holy Thursday, during the Chrism Mass Bishop Malloy spoke specifically to the priests who, under normal circumstances, would have been present to renew their priestly vows. (See photos on page 5.)
He also spoke to the laity who would have come from every parish in the diocese to accept the newly blessed oils for the catechumens, the newly baptized and the sick.
“This epidemic is reminding us that only Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection give meaning to our sufferings and to our life,” Bishop Malloy said in his Chrism Mass homily.
At the Mass of the Last Supper Bishop Malloy said on this night, the whole Church “mixes beauty with horror.”
“The beauty is Christ drawing together unchangeable foundation elements to give birth to the Church that will flow from His side with the blood and water while He hangs on the cross on Good Friday. Those elements are the priesthood and the Eucharist.” 
The horror of the night, the bishop said, is that it recalls the arrest and beginning of Christ’s suffering. “That knowledge helps us to recognize who we are and how important we are before God,” Bishop Malloy said. 
Good Friday, Bishop Malloy said, “presents to us a mystery and clarity about ourselves. The mystery is what it meant for Jesus to take upon Himself the sin of the world. The clarity about ourselves … is the reminder of how little we are willing to acknowledge our own connection to sin… our task now is to learn the lessons of Good Friday.”
During the Easter Vigil, Bishop Malloy focused on the greeting, “Do not be afraid,” a greeting heard twice in the Gospel and which is appropriate during this time of pandemic. 
Bishop Malloy offered hope, saying even though we face the same tests as the disciples we “need have no fear because each of us was made personally and individually by God. We are not accidents.
“We are eternally loved and we have been made with a purpose which is, ultimately to be fulfilled, body and soul in heaven,” he continued.
During the live TV broadcast on Easter Sunday Bishop Malloy told viewers “For us, 2,000 years later, not only do we profess the empty tomb but even more importantly, the Risen Lord. 
“It gives us hope to live our lives well and morally as Christ and the Church teach us,” he said. “It moves us to pray often and deeply, perhaps more than we have been doing until this recent crisis has come along. The resurrection helps us to prepare for our own death so that we may join Jesus in an unending Resurrection if we have been faithful.
“That is the promise of Easter. That is why faith in Christ, and practicing our faith, is worth every sacrifice,” he said.
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM