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April 2019



Chrism Mass


On Thursday morning of Holy Week, the Chrism Mass is celebrated. During this mass, the priests, deacons and representatives of the entire diocesan community gather around their Bishop, who blesses the Holy Oils for use in the coming year. These are: Oil of the Sick Oil of Catechumens Sacred Chrism. Whenever the Holy Oils are used in a diocese, the ministry of the Bishop who consecrated them is symbolically present. The Chrism Mass reminds us of our oneness in Christ through Baptism and its holy anointing, made possible by the ministry of the Bishop and his priests. The Chrism mass is also a key moment in which the unity of the Bishop with his priests (together, they form the presbyterate) is manifested and renewed. During the liturgy, the entire assembly is called to renew its baptismal promises; deacons and priests also renew their vow of obedience to the local Bishop and their commitment to serve God’s people. At the end of the Chrism Mass, the Holy Oils are brought back to parishes of the diocese for use in the coming year.

This unity of the Church faithful with her ministers represented at the Chrism Mass is a unity and celebration rooted in Jesus Christ. In Hebrew the word is Messiah; in Greek, Christos. Translated into English, the word means “the Anointed One.” At the beginning of his public ministry, in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth, Jesus read aloud the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings …”  Then, as the Gospel of Luke tells us, while “the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him, he said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:16-21).

Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One: this title of our Lord anticipates the continual outpouring of God’s mercy through the sacramental anointing with oil in the liturgies of the church.

For its abundance, its scriptural history, and its healing properties, olive oil is specified for sacramental use. From ancient times the prophets, priests and kings of Israel were anointed with olive oil as a sign that the Spirit of God rested upon them (Isa. 61:1; Ex. 30:30; I Sam. 10:1).

At the Chrism Mass three separate urns of oil are offered by the faithful and presented to the bishop for the blessing—the Oil of the Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick, and finally the Oil for the Holy Chrism. The Chrism Oil is mixed with fragrant balsam, and, because of its prominent place in the rites of Christian Initiation and Holy Orders, it is blessed with a prayer of consecration.

Anointing with the sacred oils is integral to several of the sacraments and other rites of the church. An infant presented for baptism is anointed with Oil of the Catechumens before the baptism, with the prayer for the protection against the powers of sin and evil. An adult catechumen may receive this anointing several times during the time of preparation. The Oil of the Sick is used in the sacrament of anointing, during times of illness or before surgery; sometimes also during the sacrament of viaticum (James 5:14-15).

The Sacred Chrism is an integral part of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and ordination. Named after Christ himself (chrism = “Christ-ing”), it bestows a share in Jesus’ own anointing with the Holy Spirit. Just following the washing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the baptized are anointed on the crown of the head, signifying the royal dignity, the prophetic vocation, and the call to holiness of all the baptized. Again at confirmation the candidate is anointed on the forehead as the bishop says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When a bishop ordains a man to the priesthood, following the imposition of hands and the prayer of consecration, he anoints the hands of the priest with the Sacred Chrism, saying: “The Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. May Jesus preserve you to sanctify the Christian people and to offer sacrifices to God.”

Following the Chrism Mass, the sacred oils are distributed to representatives of every parish in the diocese. The oils are normally received by the parish in a simple rite prior to the Mass of Holy Thursday. They are to be kept safe but also made visible to the faithful, displayed in an ambry near the baptismal font.

At the Chrism Mass, the gathered priests experience a powerful remembrance of their ordination day as the bishop calls upon them to “renew the sacred promises you once made.” But not only the priests, all the baptized are called to renewal. For in the consecration of the Chrism, the bishop prays that “all who are anointed may be inwardly transformed and come to share in eternal salvation.”




His Passion, Death and Resurrection


The climactic part of Jesus’ life on earth is called the Passion. The Passion refers to the sacrificial suffering and death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion on mount Calvary. Jesus foretold these events and made it clear to his disciples that he would suffer freely for the salvation of the world (Mt 20:18-19).

After his Last Supper, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane outside the walls of Jerusalem. He was tried, found guilty and then handed over to Pontius Pilate who had him crucified. He was scourged, crowned with thorns and led to the hill of Calvary carrying his cross. He died between two thieves. As he died he said, “It is accomplished” (Jn 19:30).

Scripture and Tradition are clear that Jesus’ death sacrificial death has ransomed us from sin and reconciled us to God. As St Peter says, “You know that you were ransomed ... with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet 1:18). Scripture also assures us of the many fruits of Christ’s sacrifice. By means of his sacrifice, Jesus has: repaid our debt of guilt (Mt 20:28); gained mercy for us and repealed our punishment (Mt 26:28); defeated the claims of the devil over us (Jn 12:31); reconciled us to God (2 Cor 5:19); and fulfilled Scripture and salvation history (Col 1:20). Exactly how Jesus’ death has produced such fruitfulness does remain something of a mystery. Indeed, a complete answer to this question may well be beyond our comprehension. What we do know, however, is that on the cross, Jesus suffered the effects of sin for us, his divine love revoking the offence of all sins and bearing the pain and cost of sin in itself. The key words are ‘love’ and ‘sacrifice’: it is a mistake to think of Christ’s death in cold and calculating terms, as if an angry God needed someone to suffer to placate his wrath. It is more truthful to say that, united with us out of love, Christ took our sins upon himself that we might live.

Central to Christianity is the historical conviction that Jesus was raised up bodily from his tomb just after three days. St Peter states that Jesus rose physically: “[we] ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:41), but his glorified body had extraordinary new abilities. He appeared at different times and places, and his body, though glorified and transformed in appearance, still bore the wounds of the crucifixion (Jn 20:28).

The physicality of the Resurrection of Jesus, witnessed by so many, rules out the claim that only Jesus’ soul or ghost returned, or that only his message lived on, or that he merely revived, or that it was all an elaborate hoax.

Although Jesus only appeared to certain witnesses after the Resurrection, the number and variety of witnesses gives a secure foundation for belief on the basis of testimonial evidence. Indeed, St Paul records that Jesus had appeared to several hundred people (1Cor 15:6). There is not one instance of any of these witnesses to the risen Jesus denying the Resurrection later, even in the face of persecution and death. Those of us who are not in this group rely on these witnesses, whose lives were fruitful in proclaiming the truth of the Resurrection and whose words and actions are recorded in the New Testament. Nevertheless, while it might appear that these chosen witnesses to the Resurrection were specially privileged, Jesus says that it is those have not seen and yet believe who are blessed (John 20:29). As with much of Revelation, God reveals himself in a way that invites us to believe rather than compels belief, allowing us freedom to accept him or reject him. With regard to the Resurrection, two other points should be noted. First, no definitive proof can be offered against the Resurrection, since the tomb in which Jesus had been laid after his crucifixion was found to be empty on the third day, despite being under a Roman guard (Mt 27:66). Second, certain physical signs in the world today may bear witness, indirectly, to the truth of the Resurrection. In particular, the bodies of some of the saints, such as St Bernadette, have not decayed in the normal way and remain in good condition for decades or even centuries (cf. Acts 2:27). While the souls of these saints are in heaven, the preservation of their bodies from normal decay can be interpreted as a foreshadowing or prophecy of the final Resurrection from the dead at the end of time.

By his Resurrection, Jesus confirmed the validity of all he taught and did, showed that human life does not cease with death and manifested the reality of a glorified risen humanity.

Jesus ascends into heaven after forty days of appearances and teaching following his Resurrection. This is his physical departure from his disciples. Scripture records him ascending to heaven, which signifies the “definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain” (ccc. 665). Jesus is now in heaven, where he intercedes and prepares a place for us, and from where he shall come again at the end of time.




Ten Truths

It is evident that for several decades now there has been a crisis in Catechesis, that is, in the teaching of the faith. In this article you will find 10 truths that many Catholics have forgotten, and that are necessary to really live our faith as Christ commands us, and thereby obtain eternal salvation. Remember that all these requirements are for our good, since the Catholic Church, for the love of its members, seeks, desires and watches over the salvation of its members.

1. We must say in confession the number of times we have committed a mortal sin.

The vast majority of people do not know this, and only confess what mortal sin they committed. However, the sacrament of confession also requires confessing the number of times a mortal sin was committed. If the exact number is not known, an estimate must be made (example: 3 times per week, for 1 month). This is with the aim that the priest has an idea of ​​how deeply rooted a vice is in us, and based on this we can advise ourselves to improve.

2. We can only receive communion in a state of grace.

We can only receive communion in a state of grace; that is, free from mortal sin. Remember that a mortal sin has 3 elements, being necessary the presence of all of them: 1) serious matter, 2) full consent,3) full knowledge.

No member of another Christian religion or sect is allowed to communicate if she/he attends a Mass; only a baptized Catholic with the necessary preparation to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist can do it.

3. We must confess at least once a year.

This is one of the commandments of the Holy Mother Church, which obliges us to confess all our mortal sins, well done, at least once a year.

4. We must receive Communion at least once a year during the Easter season.

This applies to Catholics after they have made their First Communion. This too is one of the commandments of the Holy Mother Church. The liturgical calendar of each year is divided into different periods. The Paschal time constitutes the period between Easter Sunday and Pentecost.

5. We must attend Mass every Sunday and hear the entire Mass.

To fulfil our obligation to go to Mass every Sunday, it is necessary to listen to the entire Mass. Ideally, arrive early.

There is no official document that determines before which part of the Mass it is necessary to arrive at the church so that it can still count as a Mass that complies with the obligation to attend on Sunday. However, some priests comment that the latest it is permissible to arrive, it is before the offertory, and others say that it is before the readings; otherwise, the Mass will not comply with our precept to go to Sunday, and we will have to go to another one.

Nor will it count if we leave the church during the time of consecration, despite having been inside for the rest of the Mass, nor if we arrive before the gospel and leave after communion.

Failure to attend mass on Sundays without a serious reason to justify it is a mortal sin.

6. To receive Communion, (apart from being free from mortal sin and having heard the entire Mass) we must fast from solid food for at least an hour before receiving the Holy Eucharist.

7. We cannot hide sins during Confession.

The confession must be complete. To conceal a mortal sin voluntarily is a sacrilege, and it is a very serious sin, which invalidates our confession (although we have confessed other sins) and adds another new sin. In case of incurring this, we must confess again. It may be tempting to hide sins because of shame, but it is a trap of the devil, who only wants our condemnation. Let us be humble and confess all our sins, and remember that the priests have heard all kinds of sins, even the most serious ones; they will not be surprised at anything we can say to them, and they do not judge us, but they are in representation of Jesus and of his mercy before the repentant sinner.

If we forget to confess some mortal sin, when we remember it, we are obliged to confess it in our next confession.

8. We cannot receive communion in mortal sin.

This is another sacrilege, and, equally, it is a very serious sin.

9. The Mass is a sacrifice.

It is not a banquet or dinner, nor just remembering the death of Jesus. The Holy Mass is a sacrifice, the same sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross being present at the altar, where there is an outpouring of Blood in a bloodless way.

10. The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.

Contrary to what many may think, the Eucharist is not only the body of Christ, but also His Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

Now, we have no excuses. We know what we have to do.



“Christian joy is a gift of God flowing from a good conscience”

St. Philip Neri (1515-1595)



Easter Bunny


A man was blissfully driving along the highway, when he saw the
Easter  Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid
hitting the Bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his car
and was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place.
  The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled
  over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of
the Bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colourful Bunny was dead.
  The driver felt guilty and began to cry.  
  A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side
of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the
man what was wrong.
  "I feel terrible," he explained, "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny
  and killed it. What should I do?"
  The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She
  went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to
  the limp, dead Bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the can
onto the little furry animal.
  Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up
the spilled eggs, waved its paw at the two humans and
hopped on down the road. 50 yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned
around, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned,  waved,
hopped  another 50 yards and waved again!!!!
  The man was astonished. He said to the woman, "What in heaven's name
is in your spray can?" The woman turned the can around so that the man
could read the label.  It said:
  "Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave."




“Just as the bread, which is made from the earth, when God is invoked is no longer common bread but the Eucharist, both earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, after we have received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, since they hold the hope of the resurrection.

Irenaeus (130-202) Bishop of Lyon




Facts you may not know


Did you know…..

11% of people are left handed

August has the highest percentage of births

unless food is mixed with saliva you can't taste it

lemons contain more sugar than strawberries

8% of people have an extra rib

rabbits like licorice

lobsters blood is colourless but when exposed to oxygen it turns blue

reindeer like bananas

the most commonly used letter in the alphabet is E

the 3 most common languages in the world are Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English

dreamt is the only word that ends in mt

Switzerland eats the most chocolate equating to 10 kilos per person per year

macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs

each time you see a full moon you always see the same side

honey is the only natural food which never spoils

the croissant was invented in Austria

the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English alphabet

if you add up all the numbers from 1 to 100 consecutively (1 + 2 + 3...) it totals 5050

lightning strikes the Earth 6,000 times every minute

fire usually moves faster uphill than downhill

frogs can't swallow with their eyes open

on your birthday you share it with 9 million others




The Annual Parish Lenten Retreat will take place in N.S. Navegantes on the 3,4,5 April.


The mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection inspires us to go on in hope: times of trouble and testing, when endured with Christ, with faith in him, already contain the light of the resurrection, the new life of a world reborn.”


The Preacher this year will be Fr. John Walsh OP Prior of St. Saviour’s Priory Dublin, the Irish Dominican Student house.

Format: Talk at 8.00pm followed by Mass


Cost: Free



The annual Parish Pilgrimage to Fatima will take place Saturday & Sunday18th/19th May.

Price per person, sharing a double room and including all meals and tips, is €105,00. Single room supplement is €25,00.

More details to follow.....!




Sacrament of Reconciliation

Monday 15th April – Service of Reconciliation, with individual Confession - N.S. dos Navegantes Cascais 7.30pm

Saturday 20th April – Confession in St. Mary’s Rua do Murtal 12.00am-1.00pm



Holy Week Ceremonies



Holy Thursday 18th April

Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Supper –

N.S. Navegantes Cascais 6.30pm




Good Friday 19th April

The Way of the Cross –

St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre Rua do Murtal 12.00noon

Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion-

N.S. Navegantes Cascais 3.00pm




Saturday 20th April


Solemn Celebration of the Easter Vigil – N.S. Navegantes Cascais 9.00pm




Easter Sunday 21st April


Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord

vSt. Mary’s Pastoral Centre -- 10.15am

vN.S. Navegantes -- 12.00 noon




Easter Joy

Jesus came to earth,
To show us how to live,
How to put others first,
How to love and how to give.

Then He set about His work,
That God sent Him to do;
He took our punishment on Himself;
He made us clean and new.

He could have saved Himself,
Calling angels from above,
But He chose to pay our price for sin;
He paid it out of love.

Our Lord died on Good Friday,
But the cross did not destroy
His resurrection on Easter morn
That fills our hearts with joy.

Now we know our earthly death,
Like His, is just a rest.
We'll be forever with Him
In heaven, where life is best.

So we live our lives for Jesus,
Think of Him in all we do.
Thank you Saviour; Thank you Lord.
Help us love like you!

Joanna Fuchs