Msgr. Kevin O’Leary, Rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, invited Boston Area members from the Order of Malta to participate in the 2019 Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 16. We processed as part of the Mass and were seated up front. After the Mass, we had a photo taken with Cardinal Seán O’Malley and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodios, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. It has been a tradition for Bishop Methodius to attend, and he was invited by the Cardinal to give remarks.
The Annual Chrism Mass is held in Boston each year during Holy Week, a big liturgy in the life of the Church. As a group, we met and vested in the gathering room opposite the Cathedral offices, by Michael Kieloch, on staff at the Cathedral. We just happened to see Mark and Mary DeFrancisco passing by, and they joined us for this group photo.
Paula Kavolius, David Houston, and Mary Jo Kriz, are show here just before the start of the procession. Mary Jo has volunteered to help prepare the oils in various ways over the past eight years, putting them in jars at the Pastoral Center, dividing them into bags at the Cathedral, and distributing them to the pastors or parish representatives after the Chrism Mass. “It is an honor and a privilege to be part of this,” Mary Jo said. “In the months to follow, I will be present at a Baptism, Confirmation, or Ordination and remember that I was present at the Mass where Cardinal Seán blessed the oils being used.”
Cardinal Seán blessing the oils and new urns.
This was one of first Masses in the newly renovated Cathedral…stunning! According to an April 19 article in The Pilot entitled, Cardinal calls priests to friendship with Christ at Chrism Mass, “The Chrism Mass serves as a symbol of unity in dioceses throughout the Catholic world during Holy Week each year, as the local bishop blesses the sacred oils used to administer sacraments for the coming year—the oil of catechumens, the oil of the infirm, and the sacred chrism.” The Pilot went on to describe the Mass as an opportunity to celebrate priestly fraternity as priests renewed their vows.
Mary Jo Kriz described the Mass this way: “The Chrism Mass offers an opportunity to be with our beloved priests as they renew their promises of the Priesthood and to be reminded of the responsibility we have as laity to pray for them and to thank them for their ‘yes’ to God and the Church.”
Judy Haglof serves on the staff in the Cardinal’s Office. A number of months ago, she had requested help from Malta members to assist in transporting the oils on the previous Sunday from the Pastoral Center to the Cathedral. After unloading the oils and moving them to the altar, members helped to secure the three new urns to be used during Mass. Here Judy and three volunteers place the urns on a table on the altar. Our special thanks to Damien DeVasto for engaging Malta members in this special event!
At the end of Mass, Cardinal O’Malley shared a very special announcement that the Holy Father has named Father Kevin O’Leary, a chaplain of His Holiness with the title of reverend monsignor. Msgr. O’Leary was presented with a black biretta, and received praise and loud applause from almost 500 clergy in attendance! Msgr. O’Leary is a great friend of the Order of Malta, and we extend our heartiest congratulations!