The Redemptorist Community at Mount St. Alphonsus, Limerick, Ireland at the request of the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, was privileged and honoured to host the Diocese of Limerick’s Chrism Mass on April 1st, 2015, the Wednesday of Holy Week. Usually the Chrism Mass is held in the Cathedral, but this year acknowledging the special Year of Prayer for Consecrated Life, Bishop Leahy was keen to have the Mass of Chrism in a church of a religious community, and to acknowledge the contribution that religious and consecrated men and women had made, and continue to make, to the life of Church in the Diocese of Limerick.
Having been extensively renovated and restored in 2009, the church of Mount St. Alphonsus was a perfect and beautiful setting for the occasion. Special invitations had been sent out to all the religious orders and institutes of the diocese and representatives of all attended. Along with over 100 diocesan priests, and with over 100 religious sister, priests and brothers, a congregation of about 1,000 attended.
It was truly a joyous and moving occasion. The singing was cantor-led by the rector at Mount St. Alphonsus, Fr, Adrian Egan, C..Ss.R, and, along with the Bishop and concelebrating priests, the entrance procession was joined by representatives of the religious orders, each carrying a symbol of the charism of their respective orders which was highlighted and presented at the altar before the opening rites. During his homily Bishop Leahy spoke of the importance of the roles all of us have to play, whether it be through our vows and commitments as religious, priests or baptized, in building up the local Church, especially as the Diocese of Limerick prepares for its Diocesan Synod in 2016. After the consecration of the holy oils, along with the customary renewal of priestly vows, Bishop Leahy invited all the religious present to stand and renew their vows, and then called on all the baptized to stand and renew theirs. Before the final blessing, Bishop Leahy again acknowledged and thanked the religious for their invaluable contribution to the life of the diocese, and particularly thanked the Redemptorists for hosting the occasion of the Chrism Mass.
After the final hymn people lingered to chat with each other, and with the religious, priests and Bishop, and all were hugely appreciative of the lovely and uplifting liturgy they had shared in. Many too stayed on to enjoy refreshments and hospitality in the refectory of Mount St. Alphonsus.