Chrism Mass: A Virtual Sign of Unity – Holy Oils Blessed and Consecrated

The Chrism Mass, a Holy Week tradition when Holy Oils are blessed and consecrated and priests from across the Diocese stand united with the Bishop, took on a different form this year but the significance and meaning of what took place were not diminished.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by priests representing each of the four Deaneries of the Diocese of Venice, celebrated the Chrism Mass on April 7, 2020, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. To accommodate the latest guidance on social distancing and limiting the size of gatherings, present on the altar were the Bishop, five priests and three permanent deacons.

“Nothing can stand in the way of the celebration of the Word of God,” Bishop Dewane said at the start of the Mass. “I am grateful that we have the opportunity for the priests and the lay faithful to tune in and witness this celebration. The oils that are blessed and consecrated during this Mass are not only for us priests to use when conveying the Sacraments, they are for you, the faithful.”

Held during Holy Week each year, the Chrism Mass would typically bring together the entire Presbyterate (all active priests in the Diocese) and would be witnessed by more than 1,000. Present for the Mass would be religious, deacons, student representatives from each of the 15 Diocesan Catholic schools, Knights of Columbus Color Corps and Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta as well as the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher.

While no one was able to be present in person as witnesses to the Mass, Bishop Dewane said the Word of God and the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ, together, unite us whether everyone is together in person or remotely.

The Chrism Mass marks a celebration and is an expression of unity of the priests with their Shepherd, the Bishop of the Diocese. By having all the priests of the Diocese come together – this year virtually – on the eve of the Easter Triduum, reminds priests of their calling to act in the person of Christ – In persona Christi.

During the Renewal of Priestly Promises the representative priests stood as one, and spoke with one voice saying, “I am,” three times in response to questions asked by Bishop Dewane. These same questions were asked of them during their Ordination to the Priesthood.

Bishop Dewane publicly thanked the priests for their continued service to the People of God throughout the Diocese of Venice for what they do each day, and in particular during the ongoing response to the pandemic. “I miss very much your presence here today… However, when we do gather, the Word of Lord is there… the words that have been said and heard today have great meaning for us.”

While addressing the priests directly, Bishop Dewane cited the readings of the day from the Prophet Isaiah, Book of Revelations, and the Gospel of Luke, which identify those who are called to be priests.

The first reading states that those who “shall be named priests of the Lord, ministers of God, you shall be called.” “The operative word being named,” Bishop Dewane said. “This is profoundly a part of our vocation. The idea of being named is also found in the Prophet Jerimiah 1:5 which states, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you a prophet to the nations I appointed you.’”

From the second reading from the Book of Revelation, the idea of who has been made or created who has made us into a kingdom of priests. The operative word there is made – the idea of being created.

Finally, the Bishop continued, the Gospel of Luke, where the idea of you and I being sent has a special meaning, He has sent me – the operative word being sent.

Bishop Dewane said to the priests: “The idea of being made is something that is truly ongoing, a work in progress. The strength of Christ is given to you and it has made your identity as a priest. It makes you new in the Lord, over and over again.”

As part of being called to the priesthood, Bishop Dewane said the priests are sent to follow where the Lord leads them, and to go forth humbly, joyfully and prayerfully.

“You are sent by the Lord through every Eucharist you celebrate; sermon you preach, truth that you teach; child or adult you baptize; confession you hear; sinner you absolve; marriage you witness; dying person you prepare for their last journey – each one of you have been sent to continue on this priestly journey.”

In an appeal to the faithful, Bishop Dewane asked them to assist the priests, not just during this difficult time caused by the pandemic, but during all times and all difficulties. “We, as a body of priests, need to be uplifted.”

As noted at the beginning of his homily, Bishop Dewane concluded by reminding the priests that it is the Word of God that carries with intention, a meaning and a purpose for them and for the people of God entrusted to their care. “Know, as the faithful, they trust you, they need you, they love you, and so do I. May God bless you all.”

From Jerusalem to Rome, and to Dioceses around the world, Pope Francis and local Bishops carry out the annual Chrism Mass, which is celebrated during Holy Week, on or before Holy Thursday. In the Diocese of Venice, the Chrism Mass is traditionally celebrated on the Tuesday of Holy Week to accommodate the priests who need to travel great distances. This year was no different.

Sacred Chrism Oil

The holy oils which were blessed and consecrated April 7, 2020, during the Chrism Mass at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Seen from left to right, the Oil of Sick, Sacred Chrism and the Oil of the Catechumens.

The Chrism Mass takes its name from the Sacred Chrism Oil, the most eminent of the holy oils, which the Bishop blesses and consecrates for use by Parish priests of the Diocese.

The Order of the Blessing of the oils and consecration of the Sacred Chrism takes place at different times during the Mass. Vested in white, Bishop Dewane, raised hands over the urns on a table near the altar and first blessed the Oil of the Sick at the conclusion of the Eucharistic Prayer. Following the Prayer After Communion, the Bishop blessed the Oil of the Catechumens.

Before the final blessing, the final portion is the consecration of the Sacred Chrism Oil. First balsam is poured into the oil and then mixed. The balsam is added so that it gives the oil a sweet smell intended to remind those who encounter it of the “odor of sanctity.” All of the faithful are called to strive for sanctity. The Bishop then extended his hands toward the vessel containing the oils, and at one point asked the priests to raise their right arm in prayer, and said the prayer of consecration. The celebration is brought to a close with a final blessing.

The Oil of the Sick is used for those who seek anointing, and the Oil of the Catechumens, which is imposed on those preparing for baptism, are simply “blessed,” by the Bishop, while the Sacred Chrism is “consecrated.”

Longtime Pastor in Lehigh Acres dies

Father Dennis Cooney, longtime Pastor of St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres died April 13, 2020. He was 71.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane said the death of Father Cooney was a loss for the Diocese and in particular St. Raphael Parish, where he served as Pastor for 19 years.

“Father Cooney was a priest who had a passion for his ministry,” Bishop Dewane said. “Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Cooney, for the people of St. Raphael who found inspiration by his good work, and for his family for whom this loss is particularly personal.”

The death of Father Cooney is particularly difficult during this time when the public celebration of Mass has been suspended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. A memorial Mass will be held at a later date.

Father Cooney was born in 1947 in Brooklyn, NY., to a devoutly Catholic family and attended Catholic schools before entering Our Lady of Hope Junior Seminary in Newburgh, N.Y. and then Oblate College in Washington, D.C. for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Ordained in 1974 at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the first assignment for Father Cooney served for several years as Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Washington. From there he studied at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL). Father Cooney then taught at the Oblate College before serving for seven years as a preaching missionary on the Oblate Mission Band. Following this service, her returned to Oblate College where he served as president and instructor from 1990 to 1992.

Father Cooney entered the Diocese of Venice in July 1994 and was incardinated into the Diocese in 1996. From 1994-2000 he served as Parochial Vicar of Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish in Bradenton. It was in 2000 when Father Cooney was appointed as Administrator of St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres and as Pastor on June 27, 2001.

As Pastor of St. Raphael Parish, Father Cooney added an outdoor Stations of the Cross, erected a Shrine to the Unborn and later added statues of St. Michael and St. Gabriel the Archangels to the Prater Garden, joining statues of St. Raphael and St. Tobias. For the Diocese of Venice, Father Cooney was Moderator for the Respect Life Office and taught theology as part of the Diocesan Diaconate Formation Program.

A dynamic speaker of theological issues, Father Cooney was called upon to speak to numerous groups in the Diocese. He also served as the spiritual advisor for the Naples Founders Club of Ave Maria University; spiritual director for the faculty and students at Ave Maria University; Chaplain for the Naples Chapter of Legatus; and served on the Board of Directors of Priests for Life.

Father Cooney is survived by numerous family and friends.

2020 Diocese of Venice priest jubilarians

The annual Chrism Mass is a time during Holy Week when the sacred oils used for the Sacraments throughout the year are blessed and consecrated and the priests of the Diocese of Venice gather united under one Bishop. The Mass is also an appropriate time to recognize priests who are celebrating significant milestones in their priesthood.

While the Chrism Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, April 7 of Holy Week in a modified form due to crowd restrictions brought on as a precaution against the pandemic – with Bishop Frank J. Dewane and representative priests from each of the four Deaneries in the Diocese – the five priest jubilarians were recognized, if not actually present.

The priests have 200 years of combined experience amongst them, with three marking their Golden Jubilee and two their Silver Jubilee.

While they were not present at the Chrism Mass, they must still be recognized for reaching such important milestones. The Golden Jubilarians are Msgr. Philip W. Hill, Msgr. Frank C. McGrath and Father James P. Meyers. The Silver Jubilarians are Father Marcial Y. Garcia and Father Antony T. Lukka. See their complete biographies below.

Golden Jubilees

Msgr. Frank C. McGrath

Msgr. Frank C. McGrath was born in 1944 in New Britain, Connecticut, and raised in Stratford. He attended St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and later St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ordained for the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, on May 9, 1970, Msgr. McGrath served at the Cathedral for several years and at parishes in Ridgefield, Westport, Stratford and Darien. Msgr. McGrath also became the Diocesan Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and was assigned outside of the Diocese to serve in the Office of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal with residence in Brussels, Belgium. Msgr. McGrath then served at Word of God Convent Community and a Parish in Ann Arbor within the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, before returning to the Diocese of Bridgeport. There he served in two parishes and as Director of Clergy Personnel. Msgr. McGrath also served as a fire chaplain from 1990 through 2014 in Michigan, Connecticut and New York City. For the Diocese of Venice, since 2014 Msgr. McGrath has been serving as Chaplain of the Ave Maria School of Law in Naples.

Msgr. Philip W. Hill

Msgr. Philip W. Hill was born in 1945 in Grand Island, Nebraska, and earned degrees from Cathedral College in New York City, New York; St. Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, N.Y.; Gregorian University and Lateran University in Rome, and Fordham University School of Law, the Bronx, N.Y. Msgr. Hill was ordained Dec. 18, 1970 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. As a priest for the Archdiocese of New York, he served at parishes in Scarsdale and Poughkeepsie, as well as vice-official for the Metropolitan Tribunal. Msgr. Hill also served as a U.S. Army Chaplain working at the Pentagon Army Chief of Chaplains Office during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, as well as at posts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. His most recent assignment in the Army was as Command Chaplain at Fort Belvoir in Virginia before retiring as a colonel. Msgr. Hill came to the Diocese of Venice in October 2019, first assisting at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch and since January 2020 assisting at Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda.

Rev. James P. Meyers

Father James P. Meyers was born in 1944 in Omaha, Nebraska, and discerned his vocation to the priesthood while studying at Mt. Michael Abby, Elkhorn, Nebraska, and went on to study at Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, and Theological College of Catholic University, Washington, D.C. Father Meyers was ordained on May 30, 1970 in Omaha for the Archdiocese of Washington. He served at parishes in Washington. D.C., as well as in Silver Springs, Bethesda, Leonardtown and Rockville in Maryland. For the Archdiocese he also served on the Priest Council and as Dean. In the Diocese of Venice, has assisted at St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs.

Silver Jubilees

Rev. Marcial Y. Garcia

Father Marcial Y. Garcia was born in 1963, in Bani, Dominican Republic, the oldest of 12 children. He studied at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Santo Domingo, and was ordained June 3, 1995, in Bani. He served at parishes in Santo Domingo and San Cristobal until 2001. Father Garcia joined the Diocese of Venice in 2001 first serving at St. Margaret Parish in Clewiston from 2001-2011, and then at Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto from 2011-2013. He was then priest-in-charge of Hispanic Ministry at St. Elizabeth Seton and St. Agnes Parishes in Naples in 2013, then at St. James and Santiago Mission in Lake Placid. He is the current Pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Moore Haven and St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Mission in Okeechobee.

 

Rev. Antony T. Lukka

Father Antony T. Lukka was born in 1965 in Kanjirapally, Kerala, India, the eighth of nine children. Father earned degrees from Gandhi University in Kerala, and discerned a vocation to the priesthood at Papal Seminary in Pune, India. He was ordained May 30, 1995 for the Diocese of Kanjirapally, and served at parishes in Koruthode, Anakkal, Karikkattoor and Enamely, and also as assistant principal then principal at a junior college in Anakkal. He came to the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, in 2001 serving at parishes in Assinis, Cooks and Merenisco, Michigan, as well as assisting in prisons, nursing homes and hospitals. For the Diocese of Marquette, he served as a member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors. Father Lukka came to the Diocese of Venice in 2016 and is a Parochial Vicar at St, William Parish in Naples.

Pastor installed in Sarasota

There are moments in the life of each Parish that are well remembered: the dedication of a new building, significant anniversaries, and of course, the installation of a new Pastor.

For the faithful of St. Thomas More Parish in Sarasota, such a day occurred Dec. 1, the First Sunday of Advent, when Father Gordon Zanetti was installed as Pastor by Bishop Frank J. Dewane.

The First Sunday of Advent was an appropriate time to install a Pastor, because it not only marked the start of a new Liturgical Calendar, but a Pastor signifies the next chapter in the life of St. Thomas More Parish.

Bishop Dewane encouraged the faithful to offer advice to their new Pastor but also know that he will be called to make difficult decisions that not everyone will always appreciate.

“He needs your support in many ways but in particular through prayer,” Bishop Dewane said.

As part of the installation, the priest begins with selected words leading to the start of the Creed when he is then joined by the faithful. At the end of the Creed, the new Pastor has extra lines which are exclusive for him. In addition, the Pastor makes an Oath of Fidelity to the Bishop and his successors; formalized by the placing of his hand upon the Book of Gospels.

Following the installation, two members of the Parish, representing the entire congregation, served as official witnesses and signed the formal documents, copies of which are left at the Parish, placed in the Diocesan archives, as well as in the Parish file kept at the Diocese.

Bishop then introduced the new Pastor to a rousing applause. Afterwards Father Zanetti took the time to hug his mother, Cornelia Zanetti, who was present along with faithful from his previous assignment, St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral. At the conclusion of the Mass, Father Zanetti thanked Bishop Dewane for his installation and commented on how welcoming the Parish community has been since the day he was first assigned.

After the installation, a reception was held in the Parish Chelsea Center.

Two priests die

Staff Report

A former Fort Myers Pastor and a longtime priest assisting at a parish in Bradenton recently died.

Father Thomas E. Murphy, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, who served as Pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Fort Myers (1994-2001) and as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Light Parish in Fort Myers (1990-1994), died Oct. 25, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pa. He was 71.

Father James H. Archambault, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford who had assisted at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton since 1997 until his health no longer allowed, died Oct. 21, 2019. He was 80.

Father Murphy was born in 1947 and professed his first vows with the Oblates in 1967, perpetual profession in 1970 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1976. He held degrees from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales and from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Father Murphy served at schools in Philadelphia, Reading, Pa., and Alexandria, Va. as well as at parishes in Philadelphia and mostly recently in Cape May, N.J. Within the Diocese of Venice, Father Murphy was Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Light Parish when it was founded in 1990 and then was named as Pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in 1994 where served until 2001.

Preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Father Murphy is survived by two sisters, several nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and two great-grandnieces. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 28 in Rydal, Pa. and internment will be in the Oblate Cemetery in Childs, Md.

Father Archambault was born Dec. 23, 1938, in Waterbury, Conn., and studied at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn., as well as at St. Mary Seminary and St. Mary University in Baltimore, Md. He was ordained May 4, 1967 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Hartford, Conn. Following ordination, Father Archambault served in the same state at Parishes in Bristol, Windsor Locks, Manchester, and New Britton, and chaplain at a hospital in Waterbury. Upon his retirement in 1987, he moved to Florida where he served as an assistant priest at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton.

Predeceased by his parents and his brother, Father Archambault is survived by a sister-in-law, nieces, nephews and several grandnieces/nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial, celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane and concelebrated by priests of the Diocese, took place Oct. 28 at St. Joseph Parish. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to the St. Vincent de Paul Ministry at St. Joseph Parish, 3100 26th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205.

Please pray for the repose of the souls of Fathers Murphy and Archambault and the consolation of their families.

Priestly Ordination: United to the Sacrifice of Christ

Bob Reddy – Venice –

The presbyterate of the Diocese of Venice in Florida grew by one with the Ordination to the Priesthood of Father Carlos Encinas.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over the ordination of Father Carlos in a Rite that was filled with long tradition and witnessed by hundreds Oct. 5 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

The Bishop told Father Carlos that through ordination, he becomes forever “United to the Sacrifice of Christ.” That unity is also with the Bishop and the Universal Church led by Holy Father Pope Francis.

“You are called to be that Church as you go out and strive to minister to the people of God,” Bishop Dewane continued. “Be the example of the Good Shepherd and go out and find the lost sheep who have the strayed by being the Light of Christ to others who might be in darkness.”

To start the Rite of Ordination, Diocese of Venice Vocations Director Father Shawn Roser called Deacon Carlos forward as he presented himself for ordination to the Bishop. The Bishop, on behalf of the entire Church, accepted Carlos and called him to ordination as a Priest by saying: “Relying on the help of the Lord God and Our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose Carlos Encinas, our brother, for the Order of the Priesthood.”

During the Rite of Ordination, Encinas knelt before Bishop Dewane to express his desire and willingness to be ordained as a Priest and to fulfill the responsibilities that come with ordination, which included a promise of respect and obedience to the Bishop and his successors. Encinas then lay prostrate before the altar for the Litany of Supplication/Litany of Saints.

After this solemn act of prayer, the Sacrament of Ordination was conferred when Carlos again knelt before Bishop Dewane, whom in silent prayer, imposed his hands on the head the ordinand. Each priest then came forward to lay their hands upon the head of Father Encinas. This was followed by Bishop Dewane, with his hands outstretched, praying the Prayer of Ordination.

Father Carlos was then vested in stole and chasuble by Father Gerard Critch, Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Naples where Encinas had recently served as Transitional Deacon. The hands of Father Carlos were than anointed with the Sacred Chrism by the Bishop, the sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who will make their ministry fruitful.

Next, the Bishop presented Encinas with the chalice and paten which all priests are called to present to God in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Rite of Ordination is concluded with the Bishop giving a fraternal kiss of peace to the newly ordained priest, welcoming him into the Diocesan Presbyterate or priesthood. Bishop Dewane introduced Father Carlos to all those present to enthusiastic applause, before all priests came forward to offer the sign of peace.

In addition to families and friends from Argentina, there were faithful from across the Diocese, many from the parishes where he previously had served. Included among those were also representatives of the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta, and the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, as well as Diocesan seminarians who served during the Mass. Father Carlos was also pleased that a number of priests and fellow graduates from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, many of whom were ordained earlier in the year, were able to attend.

The Ordination was followed by a reception in the Cathedral Parish Hall where newly ordained Father Carlos Encinas was available to greet the public and impart his priestly blessing on them.

Transitional Deacon prepares for Oct. 5 priestly ordination

Bob Reddy

Venice – Transitional Deacon Carlos Encinas had only to complete his final exams in medical school when he realized his desire to become a priest was something he could no longer ignore.

He left his hometown in Argentina and went to New York City, ostensibly to visit a friend, but actually to seriously discern a vocation to the priesthood. “I needed to separate myself from medical school and home, a place I lived my entire life. I wanted to focus on this process with my whole heart.”

While in New York City, Deacon Encinas discerned with the Franciscan Friars, helping in a homeless shelter. While this experience helped him to realize he was on the right path, he did know that religious life was not a good fit because he wanted to be a parish priest. Thus, he began his formal studies toward the priesthood for the Archdiocese of New York at Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston. N.Y., where he graduated with a degree in philosophy.

It was just before his final year in college seminary when Deacon Encinas decided he wanted to serve in a Diocese which had distinct Hispanic populations, unlike New York City where the population is more diffuse. A friend suggested he look at the Diocese of Venice. A week-long visit, including a meeting with Bishop Frank J. Dewane, solidified his decision to join the Diocese as a seminarian upon graduation in 2014.

Throughout his entire discernment process, Deacon Encinas said God was always gentle in asking more of him, showing him signs that he is on the right path. “God never forces you to do something you don’t want to,” he added. “It was at Mass that I would see signs that led me to realize what God wanted from me.”

The recent graduate of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach is now on the cusp of reaching his goal of becoming a priest. The Ordination to the Priesthood of Deacon Encinas will take place at 11 a.m., Oct. 5 at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice. Bishop Dewane will preside over the ordination.

Now 40, Deacon Encinas was born and raised in Corrientes, Argentina, and said he had a desire to become a priest off and on since he was 19-years-old. When he decided to enter seminary in the U.S., his parents, Alberto and Josefina Encinas, were skeptical, and his father was upset because he wanted his son to become a physician.

“As time passed, he appreciated more what I was doing and now everyone is very happy,” Deacon Encinas explained.

Because of the distance and cost, none of his family was able to attend his April 14, 2018, ordination to the transitional diaconate at St. Joan of Arc Parish Church, Boca Raton. The family did watch via a livestream on social media. He is pleased to know that in October, his parents, sisters, a niece and nephew and three cousins are all coming to the U.S. for the ordination.

While a seminarian for the Diocese of Venice, Deacon Encinas had several pastoral assignments including: St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Naples; St. Andrew Parish, Cape Coral; St. Joseph Parish, Bradenton, and Our Lady of Grace, Avon Park.

The ordination of a transitional deacon to the priesthood is considered one of the pivotal moments in the life of a Diocese. It is one of the most beautiful and often unseen Sacraments in the Church. It is a public response to the Call to Holiness, which comes with great responsibility and accountability.

While an ordination is the final step to priesthood, it is not the conclusion of priestly formation, it is just the beginning.

During ordination to the priesthood Deacon Encinas will freely presents himself to serve God, the Church and the Bishop of the Diocese of Venice and his successors. He will also make a renewed commitment to celibacy and promise obedience. The reward for that choice is to have his life filled with the message of God.

Chrism Mass: A Sign of Unity

By Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

The Communion of the priests of the Diocese of Venice was represented in all its unity during the annual Chrism Mass which was held on April 16 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

More than 120 priests gathered for this Holy Week tradition where the priests renew their priestly promises which they made at the time of their ordination. This celebration, which was witnessed by more than 1,200 of the faithful, including students from the Diocesan Catholic Schools, marks the institution of the priesthood by Christ and is an expression of unity of the priests with their Shepherd, the Bishop of the Diocese.

During the Chrism Mass, Bishop Frank J. Dewane also blessed and consecrated Holy Oils to be used in Parishes across the Diocese of Venice for the sacramental life of the Church throughout the coming year.

The Chrism Mass not only brings into focus the historical context of the priesthood but is also an opportunity for the priests to see the Church of the Diocese beyond their own Parishes and celebrates the distinctiveness of the priesthood. Having all the priests of the Diocese come together at the Chrism Mass, on the eve of the Easter Triduum, reminds priests of their calling to act in the person of Christ – In persona Christi. This is one of the few times that so many priests are gathered together for the Mass.

During the Renewal of Priestly Promises the gathered priests stood as one, and spoke with one voice saying, “I am,” three times in response to questions asked by Bishop Dewane. These same questions were asked of them during their Ordination to the Priesthood.

Bishop Dewane publicly thanked the priests for their continued service to the People of God throughout the Diocese of Venice for what they do each day. The call to service that priests respond to is a call to rise above the ways of the world – not that they are above anybody, but it is about serving with passion born from Christ, for the Lord and His people, and to bring them together.

In a world of increasing secularism, the is a greater need for this service than ever before, the Bishop acknowledged. While some may lose focus in this purpose, the service must always be redirected, a service toward others and living out their call to serve.

“The questions you must ask yourself are: Who can I serve? What can I do to serve? How best can I serve?” Bishop Dewane continued. “The mission of priest is about Jesus Christ; it is about His Church; it is about the People of God; and it is about living out our call in service to all.”

The two priests and two deacons serving or living in the Diocese celebrating the 25th and 50th anniversaries or their ordination were individually recognized by the Bishop for their years of service to Holy Mother Church.

While the Oil of the Sick and Oil of the Catechumens are blessed, the Sacred Chrism is consecrated; and each will be used at Parishes throughout the year in the administration of the Sacraments.

From Jerusalem to Rome, and to Dioceses around the world, Pope Francis and local Bishops carry out the annual Chrism Mass, which is celebrated on or before Holy Thursday. In the Diocese of Venice, the Chrism Mass is celebrated on the Tuesday of Holy Week to accommodate the priests who need to travel great distances.

In attendance for this special occasion were religious men and women; seminarians; the Color Corps of the Knights of Columbus; the Knights and Ladies of the Order of Malta; the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem; approximately 300 students representing most of the Diocesan Catholic Schools; as well as the faithful of the Diocese of Venice.

Sacred Chrism Oil

The Chrism Mass takes its name from the Sacred Chrism Oil, the most eminent of the three holy oils which the Bishop consecrates for use by parishes of the Diocese. Bishop Dewane described the oils as “Oils of Gladness” which represent the indelible mark each bestows.

The blessing of the oils take place at different times during the Chrism Mass. Vested in white, Bishop Dewane, raised hands over the urns on a table near the altar and first blessed the Oil of the Sick at the conclusion of the Eucharistic Prayer. Following the Prayer After Communion, the Bishop blessed the Oil of the Catechumens.

Next, the final portion of the Rite is the consecration of the Sacred Chrism Oil. First balsam is poured into the oil and then mixed. The balsam is added so that it gives the oil a sweet smell intended to remind those who encounter it of the “odor of sanctity.” All of the faithful are called to strive for sanctity. The Bishop then breathes on the Sacred Chrism “to symbolize the Holy Spirit coming down.” The Bishop then extended his hands toward the vessel containing the oils and said the prayer of consecration. The Rite is brought to closure with a concluding prayer.

The Oil of the Sick is used for those who seek anointing, and the Oil of the Catechumens, which is imposed on those preparing for baptism, are simply “blessed,” by the Bishop. the Sacred Chrism is “consecrated.”

After Mass, the thee oils were divided up and given to each pastor to use in the Parish.

The newly blessed and consecrated Holy Oils from the Chrism Mass were first used for the Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday. At that time, 268 catechumens and candidates entered fully into the Catholic Church at Parishes throughout the Diocese and receive one or all the following Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist – which some received for the first time.

Jubilarians

A reception was held in the Parish Hall following the Mass to honor Priests and Deacons celebrating their jubilee in 2018.

Carmelite Father Frederick J. Tillotson, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Osprey, spoke for the jubilarians and noted what a privilege it has been to serve in the Diocese of Venice at a parish after more than 40 years in education. Father Tillotson said he sought work in a parish and was very fortunate to have been called to serve in the Order of Carmelites in a variety of ways throughout his 50 years as a priest.

Also celebrating 50 years of the priesthood was Msgr. Rollin J. Darbouze who assists at St. Maximilian Parish in Port Charlotte and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice.

The two deacons were recognized for 25 years of service were Deacon John J. Mulvey who serves seasonally at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral and St. Therese Parish in North Fort Myers; and Deacon Armand R. Ragosta who serves seasonally at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Grove City and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice.

2019 Jubilarians

Staff Report

2019 Diocese of Venice Jubilarians recognized during the Chrism Mass, April 16 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

50 years

Monsignor Rollin J. Darbouze

Born June 24, 1938, in Port-Salut, Haiti, the fifth of nine children of Hiram Francois Darbouze and Patiana Vante, Msgr. Rollin J. Darbouze was a sickly child who did not begin attending school until age 11. He studied as a seminarian at St. Jean l’Evangeliste in Camp-Perrin and later Notre Dame Seminary in Port-au-Prince where his education was put on hold when the seminary was closed by François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, the Hatian Dictator. He resumed his discernment to the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary in Memramcook, New Brunswick, Canada. He was ordained June 28, 1969 in Quebec, Canada. Fluent in Creole, Spanish and English, Msgr. Darbouze first served at a parish in the Diocese of Nicolette in Quebec but was soon asked to serve the growing Haitian community in the Diocese of Brooklyn. For Brooklyn, he served in several different parishes in Brooklyn and Queens as well as in the Archdiocese of New York. He retired in 2010 and moved to Florida. For the Diocese of Venice, Msgr. Darbouze assists at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice.

Father Frederick J. Tillotson, O. Carm.

Carmelite Father Frederick J. Tillotson was born Oct. 4, 1942 in Pekin, Ill., the oldest of four children of Kenneth Foster Tillotson and Mary S. Cappel-Tillotson. He grew up in Puerto Rico and Sumatra, Indonesia, and attended high school at Aquinas College in Perth, Australia. He received his undergraduate degree from the Carmelite seminary and St. Bonaventure College (University) in Allegany, N.Y. Father Tillotson also holds degrees from the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, and the University of San Francisco. He also pursued graduate studies at Oxford University in England, University College in Dublin, Ireland, and the University of London. He was ordained to the priesthood in Joliet, Ill., on Aug. 23, 1969. He has taught and held adminis­trative posts in several institu­tions including Director and instructor for The Kino Institute (the Academy of Religious Studies for Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, an affiliate school of the University of San Francisco); president of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif.; Head of School/CEO for Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson Ariz.; administrator of St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish, Tucson; and as president of the Washington Theological Union in Washington D.C.; Director for Clinical Ethics for the Franciscan Health System of Philadelphia; member of the Institutional Review Board of the University of Arizona for Human Subject Research; member of the Bishops Committee on Sexual Misconduct; chaplain to the Tucson Notre Dame Alumni Association; member and chaplain to the Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher with the rank of Knight Commander. While with the Diocese of Phoenix, he served on numerous diocesan councils and committees. He has held Carmelite provincial positions as coordinator of school ministry and member of the provincial council, as well as for the Carmelite General Curia in Rome. For the Diocese of Venice, Father Tillotson has served as Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish for nearly eight years.

25 years

Deacon John J. Mulvey

Deacon John J. Mulvey was born Nov. 27, 1931 in Syracuse, N.Y., to John J. and Mary O’Hara Mulvey. He was veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served for 30 years before retiring in 1982 and later worked as a glazier at Syracuse University. He studied at Le Moyne Jesuit College in Syracuse and was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on May 14, 1994 in the Diocese of Syracuse. Deacon Mulvey served at the two parishes in the Diocese of Syracuse. For the Diocese of Venice, he serves at St. Katherine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral and St. Therese Parish in North Fort Myers. He is married to Patricia (Wood) and they have four children and five grandchildren.

 

 

 

Deacon Armand R. Ragosta

Deacon Armand R. Ragosta was born May 23, 1946 in Providence, R.I.to Armando and Etta Zompa Ragosta. He has a graduate degree from of Providence College in education and religious studies and has an undergraduate degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music. He retired in 2002 after 33 years as a music teacher for the Cranston (R.I.) School Department. He ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on Oct. 15, 1994 in the Diocese of Providence. There he served in three different parishes. Deacon Ragosta winters in Englewood and since 2015 for the Diocese of Venice he serves at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Grove City and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice. He was married to his wife Ann Fiedorowicz for 48 years before her passing in 2017. They have two children.

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