A beautiful display of diocesan unity at the Chrism Mass
April 5, 2023
Liturgy, Clergy, Bishop Brian Mascord
Last night’s Chrism Mass at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Wollongong was a beautiful display of diocesan unity between the bishop, clergy, and laity.
Bishop Brian blessed the oils that will be used in the sacraments throughout the year, and the clergy received them with reverence and gratitude. The renewal of priestly promises by the clergy was a solemn moment that showed their dedication and commitment to their vocation. The congregation joined them in prayer as they renewed their vows to serve God and his people with humility, love, and fidelity.
Throughout the Mass there was a powerful sense of community and joy as the people of God came together to celebrate the sacredness of our faith. The liturgy was inspiring with uplifting music and a touching homily delivered by Bishop Brian. Addressing his priests, Bishop Brian said: “I call on you to be fascinated by the message of Jesus, as we were when we first came to priesthood, it was this challenge that made our hearts restless for this message of Jesus, that called us from among the people to be with them and serve them so that we, too, may be nourished by them. It is through our relationship with Jesus that makes this possible in all of us. Our lived experience should echo the words of Jesus in tonight’s Gospel, ‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing,’ encouraging others to listen and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd. My brothers, you are, with the communities you serve, the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. I pray the Lord will continue to bless every one of you in your loving service to God’s people. For you I truly give thanks.”
As we journey through Holy Week, let us continue to be inspired by the unity and love that was on display at the Chrism Mass, and let us continue to support and uplift one another on our shared path with our Lord Jesus Christ who—through his passion, death and resurrection that we memorialise this Holy Week—has won us our salvation.
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.