Press Release

Bishop Deeley to Celebrate the Mass of the Oils in Madawaska on April 12

Bishop Deeley to Celebrate Chrism Mass in Portland on Tuesday, April 11

Mass of the Oils Scheduled for Madawaska on Wednesday, April 12

April 7, 2017

PORTLAND—Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate the annual Chrism Mass, one of the most solemn liturgies of the Catholic Church, on Tuesday, April 11, at 5:45 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 307 Congress Street in Portland. The Mass is so popular that free tickets, distributed to parishioners through parishes, are required to attend.

At the Chrism Mass, in the presence of priests, deacons, religious and laity from throughout the diocese, Bishop Deeley will bless the oil of the sick and the oil of the catechumens, and he will consecrate the sacred Chrism. The oil of the sick is used to anoint the sick, bringing God’s health, strength, and forgiveness to those in need. The oil of the catechumens is blessed to strengthen those preparing for baptism to avoid sin and to grow in faith. A catechumen is one who is preparing for baptism in the Catholic Church. The sacred Chrism is used for baptism, confirmation, ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars and churches.

Bishop Deeley will consecrate the sacred chrism after adding balsam and blowing over the urn, signs of the Holy Spirit. Bishops are the only ordained ministers who can consecrate chrism, although they do so in unison with the priests present.

“As we consecrate these holy oils, let us all realize that we are the anointed people of God, on mission to bring Jesus’ love to others. We are the anointed ones, the Christians who find the meaning of their lives in Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Deeley during the Chrism Mass in 2016.

During the Mass, these oils, which will be used throughout the year, will be distributed to a representative number of priests and their parishioners, symbolizing all of the parishes in the Diocese of Portland that will receive newly blessed oils.

The Chrism Mass is also an opportunity for the priests of the diocese to renew their commitment to priestly service. As they did during their ordinations, they will voice their resolve to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the Holy Eucharist and the other liturgical rites and to discharge faithfully the sacred office of teaching, following Christ the Head and Shepherd.

On Wednesday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m., Bishop Deeley will celebrate the Mass of the Oils at St. David Church on 774 Main Street in Madawaska. The Mass of the Oils includes the distribution of blessed and consecrated oils to parishes located in northern and eastern Maine. It also offers the opportunity for the priests who gather to renew their promises as well. Bishop Deeley also celebrates this Mass with the deacons, religious, and lay faithful from those areas.

A special Holy Week section is available on the Diocese of Portland website that includes listings of Masses, services, and other events at parishes; daily prayers and reflections; and many other resources: www.portlanddiocese.org/content/holy-week-2017. For more information, contact Dave Guthro, Communications Director for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7810 or dave.guthro@portlanddiocese.org.