Chrism Mass Welcomes Priests
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 8, 2021
ROCKFORD—This year’s Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday welcomed priests of the diocese and gave them the additional duty of bringing the holy oils back to their parishes.
In non-pandemic times, laity are invited to be present and receive the oils. The change allowed the priests to sit throughout the Cathedral of St. Peter in socially-distanced fashion. 
But the crux of this important annual event remained intact, with the priests renewing their promises made at ordination and being encouraged in their service by their bishop.
Last year, not even the priests were able to be physically present at the Mass, so Bishop David Malloy made certain to thank them for the last two years of their service and faithfulness.
“We are called to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ to the world,” Bishop Malloy said in his homily. “And especially in the sacraments, we have been called to be Jesus Christ as we offer the sacred actions in persona Christi.”
Early in his homily, the bishop greeted “with joy and much appreciation” all who joined in the Mass through social media and streaming, saying, “The priesthood of all believers is fulfilled by your participating in the offering of the Eucharist, by the reception of the sacraments, by prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, abnegation and active charity.”
Addressing directly the priests of the diocese, Bishop Malloy spoke briefly of the challenges facing the Church in the U.S. and around the world. 
Those significant issues mean there is, he said, “a need for a different kind of priestly life, one that is rooted in the sacraments and in the serenity and hope that is Jesus Christ ... the need for authentic, faithful and prudent priestly witness in an over-communication and science-worshipping world.”
Before they renewed their priestly promises, the bishop noted that “with each promise, we draw closer
to Christ in that we give away our lives to the will of the Father,” adding that those promises would be renewed “with a sense of joy and dedication.”
The anointing with Sacred Chrism of a priest’s hands, he said, “is linked to the Blessing of the Oils in this Mass,” adding that “they are hands at the service of Christ and of the Church.”
After the Mass, the priests came forward to receive boxes of the oils of Chrism, of the sick and oil of catechumens. 


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