9 April – Dagupan City. The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan celebrated the Chrism Mass on 9 April 2009, Holy Thursday at the St. John the Evangelist Parish, Dagupan City. The priests of the Archdiocese renewed their commitment to priestly service in front of the Archbishop and the people of God.
This renewal of commitment to priestly service is performed every year during what the Roman Catholic Church calls as the Chrism Mass, usually the largest annual gathering of clergy held either on or before Holy Thursday. The priests then gather around the Archbishop as he blesses the holy oils to be used during the upcoming year for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick.
The yearly commissioning of the Lay Ministers was also held during the Chrism mass. The Archbishop commissioned once again hundreds of lay ministers who act as lectors and commentators during the mass, as well as the Lay Eucharistic Ministers or the Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers.
In front of the holy people of God, the Archbishop asked the priests to renew their dedication to Christ as priests:
Archbishop: At your ordination you accepted the responsibilities of the priesthood out of love for the Lord Jesus and his Church. Are you resolved to unite yourselves more closely to Christ and try to become more like him by joyfully sacrificing your own pleasure and ambition to bring his peace and love to your brothers and sisters?
Priests: I am.
Archbishop: Are you resolved to be faithful ministers of the mysteries of God, to celebrate the Eucharist and the other liturgical service with sincere devotion? Are you resolved to imitate Jesus Christ, the head and shepherd of the Church, by teaching Christian faith without thinking of your own profit, solely for the well-being of the people you were sent to serve?
Priests: I am.
Archbishop: (to the people) My brothers and sisters, pray for your priests. Ask the Lord to bless them with the fullness of his love, to help them be faithful ministers of Christ the High Priest, so that they will be able to lead you to him, the fountain of your salvation.
The Archbishop in his homily shared his thoughts on UNITY, and its fruits. He talked about its opposite as the work of the evil one. “Where there is division and disunity, there is the devil,” he said. He urged the people to work and preserve peace in the family, in the community, in the country.
He urged the priests, as he personally talked to them, after his homily, to be agents of unity, not powerful agents of scandal and disunity. He said that three things have caused scandal and disunity among our people: love of money, love of the flesh and love of power!
Msgr. Renato P. Mayugba, DD, the Auxiliary Bishop, concelebrated with the Archbishop. He handed over during the simple ceremonies during the mass, the trophies to the different winners of the Mission Sunday collection contest. Fr. Enrique V. Macaraeg, the Archdiocean Missions Director, read the winners in the parish and school categories.