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With immense gratitude and joy . . .
This message is part of the Homily of the Chrism Mass, and may be downloaded here.
All you folk here who have taken the oils for your parish, you have to take care of that for your pastor, so that all the people in your area, in your territory, are able to receive the mercy of the Lord, and be brought to the grace, beauty and wonder of Christ’s love in the Sacraments. You don’t just put those things on a shelf. You’re carrying that balm of mercy into your communities, because you are the anointed ones with that chrism.
You’ve really got to smell this chrism oil. That’s really powerful stuff! Isn’t that beautiful? That’s the chrism, and something powerful happens when someone gets anointed with that. So you have to be a powerful fragrance and balm of the mercy of God in your communities. That’s why we want you to have the oils with your pastors. It’s a big job . . . but somebody’s got to do it!
Every time I celebrate Chrism Mass in the Diocese with my brother priests, I feel an immense joy that no matter where a person is in our Diocese, when the call comes in—these priests go. It doesn’t matter where it is, and that is an immense joy to me as your Bishop.
It comes with some sadness, though, and the sadness is always the thought of the places in this country where there’s no place to call, no one to call: there’s nobody home.
My brothers know this, and I have put out the word, that if anybody wants to volunteer for the ‘radically rural missions’, I will let them go. Not gladly, but thankfully. I am very proud of Fr. Dean and Fr. Harrison because they volunteered, all on their own, to go up to the Yukon for Easter so that every community in that diocese will have what we have here. That’s what I want for our country, for Canada. I am filled with joy that in this Diocese, no matter where the call comes from, any place in this Diocese, it can be responded to.
Well—it might take a little while to get to Kyuquot, but Fr. Dino can do that.
I am particularly grateful that Fr. Roger Poblete has petitioned our Diocese to become a priest of the Diocese. I knew he was going to be a ‘keeper’ when he took swimming lessons. Because when you’re on an island, and you’re stationed on the west coast of that island, you have to know how to swim!
But all kidding aside, when that boat turned over in Tofino last Fall, Fr. Roger was there, right in the middle of that, and he was present to those families. I am grateful for that.
This night, this Chrism Mass, for me as the Bishop, is always the absolute liturgical highlight of the year because we are together as God’s people. We are together to be bread that is broken for the world, and a cup that is poured out, and it’s really exciting.
Thank you for coming tonight, and thank you, Fathers.