On Maundy Thursday, most of the Catholic Bishops bless the oils used for the anointing of the catechumens, the sick and the newly baptised in their dioceses.
This happens during a special Mass, called the “Chrism Mass”, in the Cathedral, concelebrated by the bishop and all the priests of his diocese, who, also on that occasion, renew their vows of obedience and loyalty towards him.
Due to the big distances between the various parishes in our diocese, this Chrism Mass is held on Holy Tuesday so that every priest gets the opportunity to be present on that important occasion.
For bishop Dabula Anthony Mpako, it was the first time that he officiated during this Chrism Mass as the local ordinary of Queenstown and therefore, everybody in charge did the uppermost best in the preparation of it so that the whole solemnity became a successful, well organised, dignified and impressive liturgy.
The ceremony was well attended by a special congregation coming from over the whole diocese. A well trained choir from St Vincent Pallotti Ezibeleni, the presence of practically all the permanent Deacons of the Diocese and the excellent input of the six Altar Servers of the St. Theresa’s Mission in their beautiful outfit, rounded the whole service off as a well fitting element in the sacred interior of the Cathedral.
After the priests had collected their oils in the sacristy, the congregation came together in the parish hall, where the administrator of the Cathedral, Father Barry Reabow SAC gave a moving spiritual talk on “The Silence of Jesus” (also published on this website)
The successful day ended with a light lunch, after which everybody went happily home with the wish that next year we may have a day in the similar style
Fr. Edward Tratsaert SAC