Diocesan Catholic school students assisted in the procession of the oils and sacred chrism, presenting to the bishop baskets with containers for the oils that would return to each parish of the diocese. During his homily, Bishop Powers waved to those students seated in the balcony and said, “I hope that you’re not excited to be here simply because you’re getting out of the day’s classes… we’re here for a more important reason.” (Catholic Herald photo by Jenny Snarski)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

Bishop James P. Powers celebrated the annual Chrism Mass on April 9 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Superior.

He thanked the representatives from each of the diocese’s 103 parishes for their presence, a “great sign of our unity, of our being one faith community coming from all corners of the diocese; joining in that celebration of blessing and consecrating those oils and taking those oils back into your communities. How important it is that we understand the unity that we share.”

The bishop stressed the importance of the celebration as the most representative gathering of the diocese each year, and as the moment the oils are blessed and sacred chrism consecrated that would be used to celebrate the sacraments in the life of the Church and the life of individuals.

In his homily, the bishop said that “each of us is called to join in the mission of Christ. Each and every one of us by virtue of our baptism and confirmation – our God has sent us forth … to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim the love of God to all the world.”

To his brother priests, he said, “How important it us to allow God, our Lord, to sustain us.

“Brothers, we need to make prayer every day’s No. 1 priority – we need to let our Lord’s heart speak to our heart, to nourish and strengthen us for the day ahead, to help us avoid the vicious circle of negativity and doubt and anxiety, and all those other traps it is so easy to fall into.”

Priests were encouraged to renew their understanding of the importance of the sacraments, to find a good confessor and “prayerfully and regularly avail yourself of God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of confession, which you so faithfully minister.”

To the faithful of the diocese, the bishop requested, “I beg you, love your priests.”

He continued, “Pray for your priests daily, as they love and pray for you. I also ask that you love and pray for me as I love and pray for you. How important it is that we love and pray for each other as we journey in faith together, for together we are God’s holy people of the Diocese of Superior.”

Bishop Powers also called attention to the recently installed pipe organ, which has more than 2,100 pipes.

“What a beautiful gift and an enhancement it will be for celebrations for so many years to come. That gift of handing on to future generations – how important all of that is to understanding who we are as Church.”