Chrism Mass, 2017

Archbishop Bernard Longley’s Chrism Mass homily draws inspiration from the words of Blessed John Henry Newman: Let us not ‘squander’ our gifts ‘on ourselves’ and ‘our own reputation’, but let us use them for the ‘good of His Church’

At the Chrism Mass on Wednesday 12 April which saw the gathering of the archdiocese; bishops, priests, deacons and lay faithful and saw Archbishop Bernard Longley blessing the holy oils, and priests and deacons renewing their promises to serve God and his people, the Archbishop invited those gathered to draw inspiration and courage from the words of Blessed John Henry Newman:

‘Let us pray for each other, as well as for ourselves, that the gifts He has given us may not be squandered on ourselves, and used for our own gratification or our own reputation, but for His glory and for the good of His Church.’   

The Archbishop spoke of the importance of the cross: ‘The cross lies at the centre of everything we believe as priests and it gives meaning to everything we teach.’ 

He said that: ‘Christ has always seen our capacity to shoulder his cross for the sake of others, lifting their burdens and lightening their hearts.’  Even though, ‘we may not recognise this fully or clearly within ourselves.’

He emphasised how it is important for all to come together for the Chrism Mass because ‘It is not good for us as priests to be isolated – it jars against the nature of our calling.’  Adding that the Chrism Mass is a time when, ‘we renew and refresh our relationship with the Lord as his priests in the midst of the Church – and where we also re-commit ourselves to take care of our brothers in the priesthood.’

The Archbishop prayed that friendships amongst priests ‘may be a source of encouragement and inspiration’ and called for ‘understanding and acceptance (of) our brother priests who may be struggling with their health, with physical or mental frailty, with discouragement or disappointment.’ He also spoke of his own need for prayers ‘in order to be faithful to (his) ministry.’

Archbishop’s Homily


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