Brute April 2020 enews
In this email we bring you our continuing monthly series of blogs written by our seminarians. We hope you find their writings to be spiritually uplifting and educational.
Friends in Christ,
Peace. I hope you are all well and safe! I thought it important I give you all an update on the seminary in light of Corona Virus. The Seminary officially closed on March 20th when the last seminarian returned home. We felt that if we kept the men here we were only delaying the inevitable as Marian University asked students if they had a home to please return to it. The four Priests are maintaining in the building alone. We have enough food and supplies and plenty of evaluations to write, as the students turned them in before they left. It was a bit of a heartache for the Seniors who will miss out on a lot of the fun things we do to honor them as the year winds down. I have promised all students that when it is safe to be together again, I will have a party for the seniors, their families and all the other seminarians to recognize the Seniors graduating. I will begin a text, Facebook, and or video stream to keep students up to date on things and all Seminarians will finish classes online.
Let us stay safe and remember to ask God to help us in this moment, for God has never failed us and we trust, through faith, He never will.
Thanks for your continued support and please pray for us as we will pray for you.
Sharing the meaning of the Chrism Mass
“Jesus Christ has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father. To him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.”
These words from the book of Revelation are the opening of the Chrism Mass and serve as a strong reminder of what this beautiful liturgy means. It is at this annual Mass that the oil of catechumens, oil of the sick, and the sacred Chrism are blessed and consecrated. Unfortunately, this year the Chrism Mass will be postponed in many areas of the world until after Holy Week due to the Corona Virus pandemic. Our bishops, out of a sense of pastoral concern and a deep desire for the laity’s presence, have made this tough decision so when the virus has passed, we may again enjoy the richness of Chrism Mass together. Until then, here is a reflection on this liturgy and its importance in all our lives.
Using blessed oils for religious purposes is an ancient practice whose significance can be traced back to the Old Testament. Priests, prophets, and kings were anointed with oil when they were given their offices, and those time-honored rituals were retained during and after the earthly life of Christ.
At our baptism, Christians are appointed to the three-fold office of priest, prophet, and king, fulfilling and continuing the Revelation quote above. This sacrament incorporates us into the body and life of Jesus and calls us to live as He did. We are priests because we are called to sanctify the world through prayer and sacrifice those things which keep us from God. We are prophets because it is our duty to preach the truths of our Catholic faith to the world no matter the price. We are kings because, like Christ, we must lead others along the way of righteousness toward Heaven.
The Church did not keep using oils only to maintain the Biblical tradition, as important as that is. Through His incarnation, Christ sanctified nature itself and enabled ordinary elements such as water and oil to be vehicles of grace, acting as signs pointing us back to Himself, the source all holiness. It makes sense then, that oils are used liturgically in the sacramental life of Christians to strengthen, seal, and heal. We see all these in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick. A special distinction must be made for the Chrism’s character of consecration which sets apart and reserves someone or something for God. When the bishop consecrates the Sacred Chrism, he breathes on it as Jesus did on his disciples after His resurrection to send them the Holy Spirit. We all are consecrated to God at our baptisms, we are sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit at our confirmations, and priests are consecrated again at their ordinations. Whenever Chrism is used, a change in character is signified and a permanent mark is left on the soul that can never be undone. This action is not only reserved to people; chalices, bells, altars, and entire church buildings are consecrated before use so all may know these are holy things used to worship God.
Participating in the Chrism Mass is always a profound experience. This liturgy has been celebrated throughout the history of the Church. It links us to our ancestors in the faith and grants a renewed gratitude for all God has done for us. This special Mass allows a rare opportunity to showcase the full unity of a bishop, the priests, and the lay faithful in a concrete way. It is truly an action done by those acting in the person of Christ for the people of Christ. This liturgy and these oils help us re-establish that bond of unity around the world and throughout time, contributing to the fact that we are really One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Troy Niemerg is
a Bruté seminarian studying for the Diocese of Springfield and a member of the Class of 2020.
Learn more about Troy
For more information
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or call 317-924-4100.
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or call 317-236-1568.
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on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8:00AM