Chrism Mass: Prefer nothing to the love, glory of the Lord, urges Bishop Jenky

Priests from throughout the Diocese of Peoria concelebrate the Chrism Mass with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria on March 22. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Serving God is no little thing and should fill us with wonder, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, told those who filled St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria for the annual Chrism Mass on March 22. Even so, it is possible to “go through the motions of outward service to God and neighbor without any inward sense of awe.”

Celebrations like the Chrism Mass are important, he said, because they give the people of God opportunities to commit themselves anew to surrendering their hearts and lives to “the limitless glory of the Trinity.”

Bishop Jenky breathes over the opening of the vessel containing the sacred chrism as a sign of infusing it with the Holy Spirit. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Bishop Jenky breathes over the opening of the vessel containing the sacred chrism as a sign of infusing it with the Holy Spirit. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

“In the Diocese of Peoria there are families to be strengthened, children to be educated, the sick to be comforted and healed, the hungry to be fed, prisoners to be visited, the lost and sinful to be found and reconciled,” Bishop Jenky said, adding that what they need most is the gift of Jesus Christ.

He challenged his listeners — as their bishop and spiritual father — to prefer nothing to the glory of the Lord.

“We serve for his honor. We serve for his pleasure. We serve for his delight. We serve for his great love,” Bishop Jenky said. “So live in love with your Lord, who so extravagantly loves you. . . . And for the sake of his love, love your neighbor as yourself.”

PRIESTLY COMMITMENT RENEWED

After the homily, priests from throughout the Diocese of Peoria renewed their commitment to priestly service and were affirmed by sustained applause from the permanent deacons, consecrated religious and lay people who surrounded them. The assembly also included more than 370 students from 13 Catholic schools around the diocese, many of whom sat in the aisles since most of the pews have been removed for the cathedral’s “once-a-century” renovation.

After they renewed their commitment to priestly service, the priests of the diocese were applauded by the Chrism Mass assembly which included permanent deacons, more than 370 Catholic school students, and several communities of women religious. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

After they renewed their commitment to priestly service, the priests of the diocese were applauded by the Chrism Mass assembly which included permanent deacons, more than 370 Catholic school students, and several communities of women religious. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Among them were 90 students, teachers and chaperones from St. Mark School and St. Vincent de Paul School in Peoria who made a walking pilgrimage from St. Mark School, near Bradley University, to the Family Resources Center in downtown Peoria. After lunch they finished their pilgrimage, taking seats in the first balcony of St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Those present also promised to pray for Bishop Jenky, who asked for their support “that I may be faithful to the apostolic office entrusted to me in my lowliness and that in your midst I may be made day by day a living and more perfect image of Christ, the Priest, the Good Shepherd, the Teacher and the Servant of All.”

The liturgy included the blessing of the holy oils that will be used in sacramental anointing at parishes throughout central Illinois in the coming year.

The fragrant balsam was presented by Transitional Deacon Michael Pica, who will be ordained to the priesthood on May 28. Bringing forth the oil for the holy chrism, which would be made from mixing it with the balsam, was Deacon Bob Sondag.

Deacon James Heatwole brought forth the oil of the catechumens, and Deacon Joseph LaHood carried the oil of the sick to Bishop Jenky for his blessing.

The bishop offered bottles containing the three oils to the vicars forane of the Diocese of Peoria before Mass ended. The priests from all the other parishes picked up their oils after the liturgy.

A meal for the priests and seminarians followed at the Spalding Pastoral Center.

EDITOR’S NOTE: More photos from the Chrism Mass will be posted to The Catholic Post’s site on Facebook. 

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