Clergy, religious, laity come together at chrism Mass

Clergy, religious, laity come together at chrism Mass

Photo by Mike Walsh
Catholics from throughout the Diocese of Camden gather at the chrism Mass at Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, on March 27.

Photo by James A. McBride
Bishop Dennis Sullivan prepares the sacred chrism that will be used to administer the sacraments throughout the year at the chrism Mass at Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, on March 27.

BLACKWOOD —As the Catholic Church prepares to celebrate the Sacred Triduum and Eastertide, the Diocese of Camden’s bishop, priests, religious, and faithful gathered here on March 27 at Our Lady of Hope Parish’s Saint Agnes Church for the annual chrism Mass, consecrating the oils to be used in these next few days and in the upcoming liturgical year.

The chrism Mass manifests the communion of the priests with the bishop in the same priesthood and ministry of Jesus. Before blessing the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens and the sacred chrism, Bishop Dennis Sullivan turned his attention to his diocesan priests.

After his priestly brothers renewed the vows they made at their ordination, which included pledges to pray without ceasing, to act as a shepherd to their flock of faithful, and to be dynamic evangelizers of the Good News, Bishop Sullivan recounted to them the life of Blessed Solanus Casey, a 20th century American-born Capuchin priest who was beatified last November.

Blessed Solanus, well-known for his compassion and counseling to those he ministered to in Detroit, is a powerful model for God’s servants today, Bishop Sullivan said.

As the Capuchin “listened to others, and became a powerful presence in their lives,” so must South Jersey’s priests do the same, he urged.

The Camden prelate added that priests should see and live their vocation as missionary disciples, “on a journey, going out to all.”

Blackwood was just the latest stop for Bishop Sullivan as he marks Holy Week and Easter with South Jersey’s Catholics. On Good Friday, he is scheduled to lead the Service of the Lord’s Passion at Saint Gianna Beretta Molla in Northfield; on Holy Saturday, lead the Easter Vigil at Saint Vincent de Paul, Mays Landing; and, on Easter Sunday, celebrate with the community at Holy Eucharist, Cherry Hill.

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