Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 9, 2007
MacNeil returns to bless the oils
Veteran archbishop makes brief foray out of retirement
- WCR photo by Ramon Gonzalez
Msgr. John Hamilton, archdiocesan administrator, presided at the Eucharist at the Chrism Mass.
During the service, three large vessels of oil were brought into the basilica, placed on a table in front of the altar and incensed.
MacNeil then blessed and consecrated the oils - the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and the oil of chrism - all of which are used by parishes for sacramental celebrations throughout the year.
We accept the responsibility of being more and more like Jesus Christ."
Catholics use the first oil for adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for Baptism, Confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars.
Earlier in the service, MacNeil paid homage to Hamilton for the "wonderful service he has given to the archdiocese" as administrator. "He said 'yes' when the consultors appointed him administrator of the archdiocese. That's the way he's been all his life."
In his homily MacNeil said sacred oils are an integral part of our sacramental life and a sign of our special relationship with Jesus Christ, who was anointed with oil and used oil to anoint others.
When we use the oils "Jesus is sacramentally present with us," he said. "How awesome it is that God will use such a simple way to be with us."
And he said Jesus is present with us "to help us be transformed so that we and our Church and our world can be better."
What is it that Jesus wants from us? "That we be loving people like him and faithful disciples like him," MacNeil said, quoting Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.
"This is the kind of people we are. We accept the responsibility of being more and more like Jesus Christ."
At the end of the service, Hamilton handed out small bottles of each of the three sacred oils to parish representatives from across the archdiocese.
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