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Bishop to hold Mass of Oils in Madawaska

MADAWASKA, Maine — Bishop Robert P. Deeley will visit Aroostook County on Wednesday, April 12, when he will celebrate the Mass of the Oils in Madawaska.

The Mass will take place at 6:30 p.m. at St. David Church on 774 Main Street in Madawaska. The Mass of the Oils includes the distribution of blessed and consecrated oils to parishes located in northern and eastern Maine. It also offers the opportunity for the priests who gather to renew their promises as well.

Bishop Deeley also celebrates this Mass with the deacons, religious, and lay faithful from those areas.

The oils will be consecrated during the annual Chrism Mass, one of the most solemn liturgies of the Catholic Church, on Tuesday, April 11, at 5:45 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

At the Chrism Mass, in the presence of priests, deacons, religious and laity from throughout the diocese, Bishop Deeley will bless the oil of the sick and the oil of the catechumens, and will consecrate the sacred Chrism. The oil of the sick is used to anoint the sick, bringing God’s health, strength, and forgiveness to those in need. The oil of the catechumens is blessed to strengthen those preparing for baptism to avoid sin and to grow in faith. A catechumen is one who is preparing for baptism in the Catholic Church. The sacred Chrism is used for baptism, confirmation, ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars and churches.

Bishop Deeley will consecrate the sacred chrism after adding balsam and blowing over the urn, signs of the Holy Spirit. Bishops are the only ordained ministers who can consecrate chrism, although they do so in unison with the priests present. During the Mass, these oils, which will be used throughout the year, will be distributed to a representative number of priests and their parishioners, symbolizing all of the parishes in the Diocese of Portland that will receive newly blessed oils.

The bishop will bring the oils for northern Maine parishes with him to Madawaska for distribution during Wednesday’s Mass.

A special Holy Week section is available on the Diocese of Portland website that includes listings of Masses, services, and other events at parishes; daily prayers and reflections; and many other resources: www.portlanddiocese.org/content/holy-week-2017.  

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