The Tuesday of Holy Week served as the occasion for the annual diocesan Chrism Mass. Bishop Morales and the diocesan clergy gathered to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, to reaffirm their ordination vows, and to share in a luncheon and brief leadership workshop in the Cathedral’s Upson Hall. As is his custom, the Bishop blessed the sacred oils to be used for chrismation, unction, and ordination, and the clergy replenished their stocks for use in their various congregations.
The Celebrant’s host, in this liturgy, was also shared among the clergy as each took a piece and consumed it on Maundy Thursday. This practice (referred to as fermentum) dates as far back as the early 2nd century, and is a powerful gesture of the communion between the Bishop and his churches as well as the churches with one another.
In the context of renewal and reaffirmation, the workshop was a simple exercise in remembering and reclaiming Jesus as our first love, based upon the revelatory words of St. John to the seven churches in Asia Minor. In fact, the gathering was less of a workshop and more of a small group reflection. Each table of clergy leaders were invited to reflect upon and share their responses to the following: (1) Who is Jesus for you? (2) Who are you to Jesus; in other words, how do you think Jesus sees you? And (3) describe an experience you’ve had of God.
Reminders were also made regarding the Clergy Leadership Workshop, May 18-21, at The Redemptorist Center in Oconomowoc, WI. RSVPs are due to Fr. Patrick by the end of next week. – Fr. Patrick Smith