During the Chrism Mass, Bishop Smith spoke about the renewal of priestly vows:

In a few moments all priests present will be invited to join in a public act of renewal of their priestly commitment and vocation. In the aloneness of their individual commitment to the service of Jesus Christ, they are united in a common bond of priestly service, linking them to one another and to all who seek to walk in the way of Jesus Christ.

The final petition of this act of renewal is addressed to all present. It is an invitation to pray for those who serve you as priests. This invitation to pray for priests is also linked to that other invitation of Jesus ‘pray the Lord of the harvest’ – vocations come from the prayer, the faith of a believing and worshipping community.

Reflecting on the blessing of holy oils, the Bishop continued:

The oil of Catechumens and Chrism are used in baptism. The child receives the sign of the Cross on the forehead from both the priest and from the parents. The Oil of the Sick used in the sacrament of anointing bringing comfort and hope to those walking with the Cross. The Oil of Chrism will be brought to the altar by a number of priests celebrating significant milestones in priesthood. Three of us are celebrating 50 years and five more their 25th anniversary. This oil is used to anoint the hands of the priest in the form of the Cross at his ordination, the hands that will be raised in blessing and forgiveness. It is also used to anoint, again in the form of a Cross, the forehead of those being confirmed in the faith.

The vessels which will contain the Oil of Catechumens were presented to Bishop Smith by a family from Kerala in India. The focus of this year’s Trócaire Lenten Appeal is India, where the development agency of the Irish Episcopal Conference began its work 40 years ago.

The Oil of the Sick was presented to the Bishop by priests from abroad (Mgr Daniel Buor, Frs Joe Assumadu, Emmanuel Abu and Timothy Mejida) who are serving in the Diocese of Meath. In their ministry, they bring comfort and strength to the sick.

Five priests who are celebrating silver jubilees in 2013 (Frs Denis Nulty, Joseph Gallagher, Philip Gaffney, Denis McNeilis and Gerry Boyle) presented the vessels with oil for the Sacred Chrism. This year also marks the golden jubilee of Bishop Smith’s priestly ordination.

The photos below were kindly taken by John McCauley.

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