The Chrism Mass was held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. The Mass of Chrism usually takes place on Holy Thursday, but since the Diocese of St. Petersburg is so large and the priests and other people have to travel so far, it is held on Tuesday in the Cathedral during Holy Week.
At this Mass, priests, in the presence of the bishop, renewed their personal dedication to Jesus Christ, promised to unite themselves closer to Christ and renewed their commitment to priestly service. The people promised to support their priests and the bishop asked everyone to pray for him.
During this calendar year 2017, twenty one of our priests will celebrate a 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th, and 65th anniversaries of ordination. As is our tradition, Bishop Parkes honored them at the Chrism Mass. See the names of those celebrating below.
- Very Rev. Richard Jankowski, V.F.
- Rev. Robert G. Romaine
- Rev. Stephen C. Ryan, S.D.B.
- Rev. Jose Tejada
- Rev. Hector J. Cruz, S.M.
- Rev. Jose George
- Rev. Jerome J. Massimino, O.F.M.
- Rev. John W. McDowell, O.F.M.
- Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino
- Rev. Msgr. Cesar Petilla
- Rev. Raul M. Acosta, S.D.B.
- Rev. William R. Bigelow
- Rev. Terence K. Fleming
- Rev. Malachy Kilbride, C.S.Sp.
- Rev. Gerasimos T. Murphy, B.S.O.
- Rev. David J. Tickerhoof, T.O.R.
- Rev. Joseph Braun, M. Afr.
- Rev. Msgr. Diego Conesa
- Rev. Msgr. Michael F. Devine
- Rev. Msgr. James C. Lara
- Rev. Bernardas Talaisis
During the Mass of Chrism, the Oil of Chrism was consecrated by the bishop. The bishop mixed olive oil and balsam in a large container before consecrating the Oil of Chrism. This oil is used in local churches during the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, in the Cathedral for the sacrament of Holy Orders, and in the blessing of new church altars.
Parish priests or deacons then transported the Oil of Chrism to their local parishes and missions.
The bishop also blessed the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick. The Oil of Catechumens is used in a ceremony with people who are preparing to enter the Catholic Church, before they are baptized. The Oil of the Sick is used in the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, when people who are seriously ill are blessed.
Two representatives from 74 parishes, the University of South Florida, Pastoral Center and 7 missions in the Diocese brought vessels of olive oil for the bishop to bless for the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick. These blessed oils were brought back to their parishes and missions and solemnly presented during local Holy Thursday evening services.