About 100 diocesan priests, along with deacons and seminarians, gathered with Bishop Alfred Schlert at the Chrism Mass Wednesday (3/31), a beautiful and solemn Rite in which priests publicly renew the promises they made at their Ordination.
“How good and how pleasant it is for us as brothers to come together as one – as those who share Holy Orders and who aspire to Holy Orders,” Bishop Schlert said. “We were not able to do this last year, so it is a great blessing that God has given us the opportunity to come together to celebrate our oneness in the Priesthood.”
Regarding this past year of pandemic, he thanked the gathered clergy for their pastoral courage and their presence in ministering “in very difficult conditions that none of us could ever have foreseen on Ordination day.”
“Your willingness to adapt, your willingness to go and attend even those dying of Covid, your keeping parish life alive, and your bringing the sacraments to those in need, is a great testament to your priestly promises that you will renew today. I am so grateful to you for that,” he said.
It is at the Chrism Mass that the Bishop blesses sacred oils for use by parishes in the coming year. Four sacraments use blessed Oils: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick.
The Mass also is the time when priests and deacons who have died in the previous year are remembered, and the time to celebrate Jubilarians – those priests who are marking key anniversaries of their Priesthood.
Priests and deacons who have died in the past year:
Reverend Wayne E. Killian, Reverend Clifton E. Bishop, Deacon Raymond W. Wilkinson, Deacon Joseph J. Godiska, and Deacon George D. LaPolice.
2021 Priest Jubilarians:
10th Anniversary – Class of 2011: Reverend Jojappa Adagatla, M.S.C.; Reverend Daniel T. Lannen, O.S.F.S.; Reverend Jason F. Stokes.
25th Anniversary – Class of 1996:Reverend Eric R. Arnout; Reverend Monsignor David L. James.
50th Anniversary – Class of 1971: Reverend Monsignor Aloysius R. Callaghan; Reverend Francis M. Grundowski; Reverend Monsignor James J. Reichert; Reverend Joseph T. Whalen; Reverend Robert D. Wiesenbaugh, S.J.
55th Anniversary – Class of 1966: Reverend Monsignor John S. Campbell; Reverend Edward B. Connolly; Reverend Ladislaus J. Dudek; Reverend Monsignor Walter T. Scheaffer; Reverend Leo S. Stajkowski; Reverend Joseph F. Tobias, M.S.C.
60th Anniversary – Class of 1961: Reverend Monsignor Robert F. Kozel; Reverend James J. Lofton.
70th Anniversary – Class of 1951: Reverend Monsignor Robert M. Forst