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Archbishop Broglio Consecrates and Blesses Sacramental Oils at Chrism Mass

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday evening, March 18, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), blessed and consecrated sacred oils for sacramental use over the coming year in Catholic communities on U.S. Military sites worldwide, and in the nation’s VA Medical Centers. The rite of blessing took place at the annual Chrism Mass of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS).


His Excellency celebrated the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. More than two-hundred faithful including active-duty service members filled the pews of the Crypt Church to participate in the 6:00 p.m. liturgy. Dozens of Catholic U.S. Military chaplains and priests in service to the Archdiocese concelebrated the Mass and renewed their ministerial commitment following Archbishop Broglio’s homily.


From the Ambo His Excellency reminded the priests their unique, primary function is “to offer Sacrifice” while Serving Those Who Serve, always carrying what theologian Karl Rahner calls “God’s blessed burden”:“We recognize that as a Church on this night when we gather in prayer to renew the oils that will be used throughout the world to anoint the sick, strengthen the unbaptized against the devil, and consecrate babies, youth, priests, bishops, altars, and more.  We renew the promises of ordination to obey, to be more united with Jesus Christ, and to be faithful stewards of His mysteries. We recognize that we cannot accomplish the task entrusted to us by ourselves.  We depend on divine assistance, the support of the community of faith, and an assiduous attention to our spiritual life. 

“We are not blind to the challenges or unaware of what is being asked.  We are privileged to be welcomed in the most difficult moments and the most sublime occasions, because we come in persona Christi. Tonight we want to be renewed so that we can bring to completion what Almighty God has begun in us....“.... I never tire of reminding the Armed Forces and the Department of Veterans Affairs that bishops and religious superiors release priests so that they can bring the sacraments to those who seek them.  You do not need ordination to be a social worker, a counselor, a drill instructor, a promotor of morale—all good services to render, but not dependent on ordination.  The uniqueness of your role is what brings our beloved faithful here this evening.  They know what you bring and it is what they crave.” 

Following the renewal of priestly commitment, Archbishop Broglio raised hands over three urns at the foot of the altar. His Excellency blessed the Oil of the Catachumens and the Oil of the Sick, and he mixed balsam with oil forming the “chrism” to be used at baptism, breathing over the mixture as part of the consecration rite.


Among priests and chaplains joining Archbishop Broglio at the altar were Auxiliary Bishops F. Richard Spencer, Neal J. Buckon, Joseph L. Coffey, and Richard B. Higgins (Ret.). Also concelebrating were the AMS Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, the Very Monsignor Anthony R. Frontiero, S.T.D.; AMS Judicial Vicar, Very Reverend Father Mark Rutherford, J.C.L.; AMS Chancellor, Father Robert R. Cannon, J.C.L.; and the Rev. Msgr. Walter R. Rossi, Rector of the Basilica.Co-Sponsored Seminarians and deacons assisted at the altar. The Reverend Mr. Patrick DiLoreto and the Rev. Mr. Joseph Heisey served as Deacons of the Mass. The Rev. Mr. Christopher Feist, the Rev. Mr. Jacob George, and Deacon Joe Pak served as Deacons of the Oils. West Point Cadet David Miller of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Class of 2027) and Midshipman Fourth Class David Farrell of the U.S. Naval Academy served as lectors. West Point’s Cadet Catholic Choir animated the liturgy with sacred song under Director Emily Lapisardi.Read the full text of Archbishop Broglio’s homily here. Watch the video.


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