Share this story

 | Brittany DeHaan

Bishop Gregory Parkes Asks All to Pray for Priests as They Renew Their Promises

Bishop Gregory Parkes, priests, deacons, seminarians, and parishioners from around the Diocese of St. Petersburg packed the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle on March 26, 2024, to celebrate the Chrism Mass.

All local priests are encouraged to participate in the Chrism Mass in union with the bishop. Over 150 priests attended and renewed the promises they made on the day of their ordination, resolving to unite themselves more closely to our Lord. The renewal of priestly promises was a beautiful expression of the service of the priests in our diocese.

During his homily, Bishop Parkes spoke to the faithful about the priests in the diocese.

“We are blessed to have good and holy priests serving in our diocese. With regard to our priests, I ask that you love them, I ask that you support them, and I ask that you pray for them,” said Bishop Parkes. “I ask this morning that you remember to pray for us- that we may be the priests that God has called us to be and that you deserve.”

He acknowledged the priests present and continued, “I’m grateful to our priests for their faithful and dedicated ministry, often under difficult and challenging circumstances,” before requesting the congregation join him in expressing their gratitude. 

The congregation erupted in applause and gave a standing ovation for all priests within the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

As the Chrism Mass continued, Bishop Parkes recognized each jubilarian priest by name. Twenty-four priests, including Bishop Parkes, were celebrating special anniversaries. 

During the Mass, Bishop Parkes consecrated Sacred Chrism, a mixture of oil and balsam, that will be used for anointing during thousands of Baptisms and Confirmations throughout the coming year in local parishes.

The bishop also blessed the Oil of Catechumens that is reserved for adults preparing to be baptized and the Oil of the Sick, that is reserved for those who are seriously ill. Also, priests celebrating milestone anniversaries of priesthood we recognized.

After Mass, representatives from all parishes and missions in the diocese received vessels of the Holy Oils to bring back to their churches for use in the sacraments throughout the coming year.

In his homily during the Mass, Bishop Parkes concluded with a prayer for this Holy Week. “This Holy Week, may Mary, mother of priests and the faithful, intercede for us that we may continue to Courageously Live the Gospel, to grow closer to her son, Jesus Christ, and to fulfill the mission and ministry that has been entrusted to us. Amen.”