Chancery Bulletin

Bishop Callahan's Blog

Lenten Greeting 2019


Every year since my arrival in
2010, I have failed to get a message out to all of you, dear brothers and
sisters, concerning the significance of Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum. I am
trying to rectify that situation today by sending some thoughts to deepen your
awareness and appreciation for the holiest time of the year in our life of
Divine Grace.

Holy Week begins with Passion
(Palm) Sunday. The Passion of Our Blessed Lord is read from one of the Synoptic
Gospels (this year we hear from Luke’s Gospel). The Passion is sung or
proclaimed chorally from John’s Gospel on Good Friday each year.

The pious custom of our Holy
Church finds us gathered mid-week (we have settled for Tuesday) to celebrate
the Chrism Mass. The Tradition usually sets this Mass for the morning of Holy
Thursday since it marks the institution of the Priesthood by our Blessed Lord.
As so many things in our lives have been marked by expediency, we in the
Diocese of La Crosse have set Tuesday of Holy Week as our day to celebrate
fully and totally the gift of the priesthood. The Chrism Mass unites the entire
Presbyterate, Diaconate, and complete Faithful of Christ’s Mystical Body with
the Bishop at one place, the Diocesan Cathedral, the Mother Church of the
Diocese. Gathered around one altar and as one believing community, we celebrate
the unity and institution of the priesthood, the Consecration of the Sacred
Chrism (used at all Baptisms, Confirmations, and Priestly Ordinations in the
Diocese for the coming year), priestly recommitment to their promise of
obedience to the Diocesan Bishop, and the unity of the Diocesan and Universal
Church with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The Chrism Mass
in the highlight of Diocesan life in union with the universal Church. It is a
must for all Catholics to attend at least once in their lives. With that being
said, I should point out that none of the ceremonies of Holy Week: Chrism Mass,
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday), Friday of the Passion of the
Lord (Good Friday), Solemn Easter Vigil (Saturday before Easter), are obligatory—that is, you are not obliged to participate as you are on
Sundays or Holy Days of obligation. Again, I heartily invite you to attend and
participate in the full celebration of the Holy Week services at least once in
your life.

Easter—the Solemnity of the
Resurrection of the Lord—marks the central mystery of our faith. We commemorate
the Resurrection and reaffirm our faith each and every Sunday. So, I wish you
the depths of God’s Grace for Holy Week and the Abundant Blessings of Easter—I’ll
see you at Sunday Mass!

The LaCrosseRoads

A resource publication of the Diocese of La Crosse ... AugSep 2016

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