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Priestly fraternity celebrated at Chrism Mass


  • ‘Today, we gather with the family that Christ gives us, the Church, to renew our priestly commitment and bless the oils, the tools of our sacramental ministry,’ Cardinal O’Malley told the priests in his homily. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
  • The procession of priests to begin the Chrism Mass stretches around Holy Cross Cathedral from the Washington Street entrance to Union Park Street. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • The cardinal blesses the holy oils to be used in the sacraments of holy orders, confirmation, baptism and the anointing of the sick. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Priests concelebrate the Chrism Mass with Cardinal O’Malley. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Sister Nieves Salinas and Sister Guadalupe Karol Quinn help distribute the scared oils in the cathedral hall following the Mass. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)

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SOUTH END -- Priests from across the Archdiocese of Boston gathered at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston to celebrate their priestly fraternity at the annual Chrism Mass, April 11, celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley.

The Chrism Mass serves as a symbol of unity in dioceses throughout the world during Holy Week each year, as the local bishop blesses the sacred oils used to administer sacraments for the coming year.

During the Mass, the priests renewed their priestly vows and afterwards received the sacred oils -- the oil of catechumens, the oil of the infirm, and the sacred chrism -- for their parishes or ministries.

The renewal of vows, said Cardinal O'Malley in his homily, makes the liturgy "therapeutic."

"It heals and restores us. It allows us to relive the joy of our ordination day, when we were surrounded by parents and grandparents, siblings and friends," he said.

"Today, we gather with the family that Christ gives us, the Church, to renew our priestly commitment and bless the oils, the tools of our sacramental ministry," he continued.

The cardinal spoke about the priestly vocation, noting that "at our ordination ceremony, we made a gift of ourselves that's expressed in our commitment of celibacy, obedience, prayer, and communion."

In the Latin Church, he said, celibacy is a "special identification with Christ, Christ the Good Shepherd who is celibate, who is a virgin."

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