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By Fr Franklin DSouza

Shivamogga, April 7, 2022 : Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Diocese of Shimoga celebrated Chrism Mass together with the Clergy, Religious and with the faithful at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Shivamogga.

On April 6th, 2022, at 6pm Clergy of the Diocese as well as religious those who are serving in the Diocese gathered at Sannidhi (Diocesan Pastoral Renewal Centre), Shivamogga for the recollection.

Fr Anthony Peter, Rector of the Our Lady of Health Basilica, Harihar led the opening prayer. Then Bishop Francis Serrao SJ welcomed the resource person and introduced Fr Arul Jesu Robin CMF, Director of Sanyasa- Bangalore.

Fr Robin CMF dealt with two topics, they were very relevant to the pastoral life and ministry of the priests. In his first talk on April 6th at 6:15pm he dealt with, "The beautiful gift of the priesthood". He made priests to reflect upon ordination ceremony. Then he spoke about Closeness with God, Closeness with Bishop, Closeness with fellow Priests and Closeness with faithful. He also spoke on evangelical counsels; Obedience, Poverty and Charity. At 7:15pm he led the adoration.

On April 7th, 2022, at 9am Fr Robin CMF spoke on "Spirituality of the cross and suffering". At 11am he prepared priests for the sacrament of reconciliation. Individual confessions were organised for the priests.

At 12pm Bishop Francis Serrao SJ addressed his priests and he appreciated the commitment and selfless service of his priests. He also invited his priests to continue the ministry with the spirit of Christ Jesus. At 12:30pm Fr Shaji SDB, Rector of Don Bosco Chitradurga thanked the resource person and the Bishop as well as Pastoral Renewal Centre Director Fr Duming Dias.

Then at 5pm all gathered for the rosary at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Shivamogga. At 5:30pm Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Diocese of Shimoga celebrated Chrism Mass with his priests. A large number of Religious and faithful took part in the Chrism Mass. All priests renewed their priestly vows before the Bishop. Bishop also blessed Holy Oils namely; Oil of the sick, Oil of the Catechumens, Oil of the sacred Chrism.

In his homily Bishop explained the meaning of the Holy Oils and its significance.

He said quoting Pope Paul VI :β€œThe Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the bishop's priesthood and Signifies the closeness of the priests with him". While the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, are simply "blessed," the Sacred Chrism is "consecrated".

Chrism – used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, as well as for the consecration of altars and the dedication of churches.
The Oil of Catechumens (formerly known as the oil of exorcism) – also used in the sacrament of Baptism, and
The Oil of the Sick – used only in the rite of the Anointing of the Sick

In his homily he stressed that we are at the service of the Church, as Jesus washed the feet of the disciples we need to be humble and simple in our approach with the people of God. He also invited faithful to pray for their priests.

At the end of the Holy Eucharist Fr Stany D'Souza, Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart Cathedral , Shivamogga thanked the Bishop, Priests and Religious as well as the faithful.