Cardinal John Dew, apostolic administrator of Palmerston North diocese — Te Rohe Pihopa o te Papaioea — dared the parishioners, students and priests at the noon Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on March 29 to go out with Jesus’ power and grace to radiate joy, simply because we have been anointed to do so.
“This Easter, radiate the gladness that is inherent in the Good News that God is with us, that Jesus lives, that our lives can be living witnesses to God’s presence, love and compassion,” Cardinal Dew said in his homily at the Mass.
Referencing the words of the prophet Isaiah, that is, to be the garments of praise to replace despair and be the oil of gladness, charges us to be ambassadors of hope in a world that pines for the Gospel, the cardinal said.
“We are all anointed with chrism at baptism and confirmation, some of us at ordination. That anointing with sacred chrism gives us a share in the priestly ministry of Jesus,” he said.
Since the diocese was formed in 1980, the Chrism Mass, that gathers the whole diocese together, had been celebrated on the Tuesday of Holy Week in the evening, but the decision was made to celebrate it this year on a weekday, thereby enabling students to participate and experience the blessing of the oils liturgy. Unfortunately, a road accident at Waitotara, north of Whanganui, blocked traffic there for five hours, so those from Taranaki were unable to get through.
After the Mass, lunch was enjoyed in the diocesan centre in Palmerston North, and for the students — there was a sausage sizzle.