Almost 100 priests from the Diocese of Meath joined Bishop Michael Smith for the annual Chrism Mass on Holy Week, during which the clergy renewed their priestly vows.
“Faith calls us to walk in a way that does not always conform to the prevailing fashions of the age” Bishop Smith told the priests and asked the full Cathedral congregation to pray for their local clergy.
The Bishop blessed the various holy oils to be used in all 69 parishes in the Diocese of Meath for baptisms, confirmations, ordinations and the anointing of the sick. Among those presenting the oils to the Bishop were silver jubilarians Fr Martin Carley, a native of Milltownpass, and Fr Stan Deegan, originally from Ballinagore. The oils for the anointing of the sick were carried forward by people involved in ministry with the sick and dying including Fr Jaison from the Carmelites in Moate and Bro. John from the Camillians in Killucan.
At the end of the liturgy, a member of the Cathedral liturgy team, Julie Darby, expressed a word of thanks to the clergy. “You have been there at all the most important moments in our lives” she said. “We are your people and we are proud that you are our priests. You have given up your lives to follow your vocation and we appreciate who you are and what you do.”
The recently discovered Dease chalice was used for the first time by Bishop Smith during the Mass. The seventeenth century chalice was originally presented to Bishop Thomas Dease at his ordination in Paris. He was consecrated Bishop of Meath in 1622 and afterwards travelled to his native diocese, which had been without a bishop for the previous sixty years. Following the campaign of persecution of Catholics by Oliver Cromwell in the 1640s, Bishop Dease was forced to flee to Connaught. He died in 1652 and was remains were interred in the church of St Nicholas in Galway.