Bishop Robert W. Muench presided over the annual Chrism Mass Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Joseph Cathedral, 412 North Street in downtown Baton Rouge. 

The solemn and sacred liturgy, which included the blessing and distribution of sacramental oils to be used throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s 67 church parishes in the coming year, also manifests the unity of the Diocese’s 65 priests with their bishop in the Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service, making the celebration serve as a beautiful symbol of the universal and collaborative nature of our Roman Catholic Church.

“Communal celebration of Eucharist is primary to the life of the church,” Bishop Muench said. “With this Mass and the events of Holy Week, we recall, from the Acts of the Apostles, that ‘the community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common (Acts 4:32).’”

Three Ascension Parish Priests were honored among 29 more for their years of service. For those who were unable to attend, Catholic Life TV is replaying the mass at catholiclifetv.org.

"Imagine if in 1917 we had already been established as the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Imagine if the bishop of that diocese would have celebrated the Chrism Mass here at St. Joseph. Imagine if all the priests then assigned to this territory, 32 in total, had been present with him," Muench said in the homily.