Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 28, 2005
A community of prayer, service
Archbishop tells Chrism Mass gathering they belong to the family of Christ
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Archbishop Thomas Collins is calling on the people of the Edmonton Archdiocese to come together in spirit and live as a community in active ministry.
"We can't worship Jesus through a television set," Collins told the gathering that packed St. Joseph's Basilica March 21 to attend the annual Chrism Mass - the blessing of oils for use in the sacraments across the archdiocese.
The evening also saw about 100 priests, including Archbishop Emeritus Joseph MacNeil, renew their commitment to service.
"We must gather in the community of prayer in the spirit of active service," Collins said. Our identity can be found not only in prayer to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but also by heeding the call to live in the name of the Holy Trinity, Collins said. "Communion is the principle of our life as individuals and it is the structure of the Church."
Anyone who chooses to follow the life of Christ need never fear standing alone because we are united in spirit and body, Collins said. We are a family in Christ, praying together for one another, getting stronger as we grow.
Each one of us needs to find time every day, to contemplatively pray and experience the depth of our relationship with God and with each other, he said.
We do not necessarily need to do it in Church, Collins said. We can pray in our own homes or at work, at any time.
Collins said it is important to always be in communion with the Lord.
"This is the experience of adoration for our Lord towards the Blessed Sacrament. I highly encourage, in all of our parishes, an opportunity for people to come and be in communion in silent and simple adoration."
Collins mentioned the proposed blessing of a perpetual adoration chapel at St. Andrew's Church on May 29, in conjunction with the feast of Corpus Christi. He encouraged anyone, whether a parishioner or a passerby, to spend time before the Lord - day or night.
The archbishop blessed and consecrated three kinds of oils: oil of the sick, used in Anointing of the Sick to bring the strength of the Lord to the suffering. He blessed the oil of the catechumens, the first oil used in Baptism. He blessed the sacred oil of Chrism, used in Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. He said the consecrated oils will be used as instruments of God's grace to bring new life. The oils were distributed to parish representatives following the Mass.
"To celebrate the Holy Eucharist is the source of our life with Jesus, to experience the tremendous unity which the Lord gives to us," he said. "The unity is also expressed in the gathering of the priesthood as they recommit themselves to the service of all the people of God."
Collins said all are called to actively participate, from readers, Eucharistic ministers and ushers to those called to the priesthood and religious life.
"We cannot get anything out of it unless we bring ourselves to it. Communion is the summit of our lives as Christians."
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