In a highlight of the Holy Week, over two thousand faithful and over a hundred clergy filled the Jesuit run St Georges sports field for the 2016 Chrism mass on Tuesday the 22ndof March where the Archbishop of Harare blessed oil for the catechumenate, chrism oil and oil for the anointing of the sick.
The mass concelebrated by the Archbishop and Papal Nuncio to Zimbabwe Archbishop Marek Zalewski was for the first time in the history of the Archdiocese held on a Tuesday and outside of the Cathedral. Moving the venue to St Georges College was necessitated by smaller space as many people attend the Mass. Also, moving a Tuesday instead of the traditional Thursday was to allow priests to attend the mass without worrying of rushing back to their parishes in preparation of the Lord’s Supper Masses.
In his homily the Archbishop asked for forgiveness from the congregants for fellow priests whom he said might have failed to match what is expected of them in their work of taking care of the souls of the faithful.
“…in trying to work for you we might have failed to take good care of your souls as expected. We ask for your forgiveness in this year of mercy. We ask a bit a bit of amnesty from you,” said the Archbishop.
Sharing a personal message to his brother priests, His Grace urged them to acknowledge that they are sinners but they should strive for holiness as the Year of Mercy is a time to reflect on their falls in their ministry.
“We should humbly acknowledge before God and his people the fact that in the history of our priesthood, the dark presence of sin is also found, so there is need for us in this Year of Mercy to commit ourselves fully to the search for holiness.”
He implored the priests not to limit their interaction with the faithful in celebrations of the Eucharist but to also give them more time for the sacrament of reconciliation which he said relates strongly with the sacrament of Eucharist.
“It could be that, many people tend to be losing interest in going for confession because we priests are hardly found in confessionals. If we can truly discover for ourselves the beauty of the sacrament of confession then we are better placed to help our brothers and sisters to do the same,” he said.
During the mass, priests also renewed their vows.