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Archbishop George J. Lucas breathes over the sacred chrism, one of three holy oils blessed at the chrism Mass March 21 at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

Archbishop Lucas celebrates chrism Mass with people, priests of archdiocese

Archbishop George J. Lucas celebrated the chrism Mass March 21 with people from across the archdiocese at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

More than 100 priests concelebrated the Mass, where they also renewed their priestly promises. And the archbishop blessed the holy oils that will be used by the archdiocese’s parishes throughout the year: the oil of the sick to anoint those who suffer in mind and body; the oil of the catechumens for baptism and the sacred chrism for confirmation, ordination of priests and bishops and anointing altars and churches.

The congregation included students and their teachers from several schools and parish religious-education programs, many of the students preparing for confirmation.

Gerald Gentrup, a religious education teacher from St. Joseph Parish in Wisner, said the Mass helps the students realize the blessings that surround the holy oils, and with so many parishes represented, the universality of the church.

Renewing their priestly promises, the priests resolved to unite more closely with Jesus and be faithful stewards of the sacraments.

In his homily, Archbishop Lucas said that in this year’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis has reminded the world that Jesus is the face of divine mercy. And priests, the archbishop said, are called to be the face of mercy to the faithful, in their work in hospitals, parishes and elsewhere.

Priests, bishops and all the faithful also have their struggles, but all are invited to share in the grace and mercy of Christ, the archbishop said.

“We are not defined by our weaknesses,” he said.

“Jesus Christ came to us, sharing our humanity in order to give us a share of his divinity,” Archbishop Lucas said. “In his gift of the cross we become true sons and daughters of Christ.”

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