Apr 19, 2011

Chrism Mass in Niigata

This year's Chrism Mass for Niigata diocese has been celebrated today, Holy Tuesday, at 10 am in Niigata Cathedral.  During the time of crisis such as the one in Japan at this moment since 11 March, Chrism Mass has such a significant meaning for the diocese.  For this Mass, majority of priests working in the diocese made effort to come together and con-celebrate with Bishop while several representatives of laity were also in attendance.  This signifies the real sense of unity of local church and made us feel strength of communion in our faith community.  We have to come together as one community to overcome this crisis.  We have to rediscover true meaning of solidarity to create one family of God in this country.  Almost all the priests, diocesan and religious, were in Niigata Cathedral today except Akita district which had sent 2 delegates to join us.  The distance of 350 km to reach the Cathedral made them difficult to join such diocesan activities.  Three important holy oils are consecrated and blessed during the Mass.

As Holy Father preached last year's Chrism Mass in Rome, "the holy oils are at the centre of the liturgical action. They are consecrated in the bishop’s cathedral for the whole year. They thus serve also as an expression of the Church’s unity, guaranteed by the episcopate, and they point to Christ, the true “shepherd and guardian” of our souls, as Saint Peter calls him (1 Pet 2:25)."

We prayed for victims of the recent disaster and also prayed for quick recovery for those who lost their normal life.  We really need true resurrection to complete new life.

I have to fly to Sapporo this afternoon to celebrate yet another Chrism Mass in Sapporo at 10:30 am tomorrow.

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