by Anita McSorley
Yesterday, in one of the most impressive liturgies held each year here in the archdiocese, priests from all over the archdiocese gathered with the archbishop as he celebrated what is called the Chrism Mass.
At this Mass, held in dioceses and archdioceses around the world during Holy Week, Archbishop Naumann blessed three oils — oils that all the priests then took back to their parishes for use in the administration of the sacraments in the coming year.
These oils include the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and holy chrism itself, for which the Mass is named.
The last of these, holy chrism, is different from the rest. It is a mixture of olive oil and balsam, and its use dates back to Old Testament times and the anointing of priests, prophets and kings.
Today, this oil is used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy orders — all sacraments that impart an indelible sacramental character.
The liturgy is long — at least an hour and half and sometimes more — but it is the only time of the year when all the priests are gathered in one place.
So this year, The Leaven decided to take the opportunity that Chrism Mass provided us to pick the brains of our presbyterate.
We try to do this in many other ways as well. Last summer, we surveyed the priests of the archdiocese by phone and Survey Monkey, and, on an ongoing basis, we encourage them through phone calls and emails to call us with their story ideas.
But there’s something to be said for that face-to-face contact. Not to mention The Leaven logo we wear on our shirts and sweaters, so they don’t even need to remember our names.
I can tell you I was the recipient of more than one, “Hey, you — Leaven” called across the foyer.
What only dawned on me after the Chrism Mass is that there is at least one more source of excellent story ideas that we had not yet tapped.
That’s where you, dear reader, come in.
Despite the fact that we rarely have face-to-face contact with you, most of our very best story leads start with you, our readers.
So, without further delay, I’d like to invite you to submit any story ideas you’d like us to pursue by posting them in the comments below. Please include a way for us to reach you, or the person we would interview for the story. (And please remember that some things are manageable by a staff our size — and some are not.)
Don’t hesitate to think big. Better yet, think small.
Some of the greatest witnesses to our faith here in the archdiocese are everyday Catholics who have incorporated into their daily lives the imperative to spread the Gospel.
Like the words attributed to St. Francis, they have internalized the motto: “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.”
So use your words to help us shine a light on those individuals, who through their example, light the way for the rest of us.
Thank you, and have a Happy Easter.