The Mass of Chrism took place on Tuesday, March 31 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg. The Chrism Mass typically takes place on Holy Thursday, but since our diocese is so large and the priests and other people have to travel far, it is held on the Tuesday of Holy Week. The Mass was live video streamed and broadcast on Spirit FM 90.5. To see more photos from the Mass, click here.
At this Mass, in the presence of Bishop Lynch, priests 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 Bishop Lynch asked everyone to pray for him.
After the homily and the renewal of priestly promises, Bishop Lynch blessed the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens. Two representatives from 74 parishes, the University of South Florida, Pastoral Center and 7 missions in the Diocese brought vessels of olive oil for Bishop Lynch to bless for the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens.
The Oil of the Sick is used in the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, when people who are seriously ill are blessed.
The Oil of Catechumens is used in a ceremony with people who are preparing to enter the Catholic Church, before they are baptized.
Then, the Oil of Chrism was consecrated by Bishop Lynch. He 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.
Per our tradition, Bishop Lynch also honored the twenty priests who are celebrating their 25th, 40th, 50th, and 60th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood at the Mass. The names and anniversaries of the priests are listed below.
- Rev. Damian Amantia, T.O.R. (Pastor, St. Mary, Our Lady of Grace, St. Petersburg)
- Rev. David DeJulio (Pastor, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tampa)
- Rev. Joseph J. Kalarickal, M.S.T. (Parochial Vcar, Our Lady Queen of Peace, New Port Richey)
- Rev. George P. Varkey, M.S.T. (Parochial Vicar, St. Thomas Aquinas, NPR)
- Rev. Dennis E. Hughes (Pastor, St. Peter the Apostle, Trinity)
- Rev. Augustine Mailadiyil (Parochial Vicar, Prince of Peace, Sun City Center)
- Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. McCahon (Retired)
- Rev. Jacob Monteleone (Pastor, Light of Christ, Clearwater)
- Rev. Msgr. Algimantas A. Bartkus (Retired)
- Rev. Kenneth P. Bonadies (Retired)
- Rev. Thomas Burns, S.C.J. (Retired, Sacred Heart Residence)
- Rev. Msgr. J. Bernard Caverly (Pastor Emeritus, St. Raphael, St. Petersburg)
- Rev. Msgr. Colman M. Cooke (Retired)
- Rev. Kenneth Gerth, M.C.C.J. (Chaplain, St. Joseph Hospital)
- Rev. Msgr. Austin Mullen (Retired)
- Rev. Roger L. Bisson, M.Afr. (Retired, Missionaries of Africa Residence)
- Rev. Clement F. Comesky, O.F.M. (Retired, St. Anthony Friary)
- Rev. Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M. (Retired, St. Anthony Friary)
- Rev. Jaime Diaz (Retired)
- Rev. Brendan Lawlor (Retired)
After the Mass, parish representatives brought the blessed oils back to their parishes and missions. Parish priests or deacons brought the Oil of Chrism to their local parishes and missions. The blessed oils will be solemnly presented during local Holy Thursday evening services.