All are invited to the Chrism Mass, March 26 in the Cathedral


For the first time in three years, the Chrism Mass will be back in the renovated Cathedral of St. Joseph this year.

Bishop W. Shawn Mc­Knight invites the faithful to join him and the priests of the diocese at the Chrism Mass, to be celebrated at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.

“Once a year, in anticipation of the Sacred Triduum, clergy and laity from parishes near and far come together in our beautiful Cathedral to celebrate the eternal bonds we share as members of one communion,” Bishop McKnight stated.

“I invite all the faithful to come and pray with and for our priests and for all who will receive sacraments of our Church in the upcoming year, with the oils we will bless and the Sacred Chrism I will consecrate,” he said.

Refreshments will be available in Cana Hall in the lower level of the Cathedral after the Mass.

Reservations are requested to provide an approximate count for the reception.

Visit to make a reservation.

“A special Mass”

Offered each year in this diocese on the Tuesday of Holy Week, the Chrism Mass highlights and solidifies the bonds between the bishop, priests, the sacraments and all the faithful who receive them.

Surrounded by the priests of this diocese and missionary priests serving here from other dioceses, Bishop Mc­Knight will bless the oils and consecrate the Sacred Chrism that will be used for sacraments in every parish in the diocese throughout the upcoming year.

They will also observe the 70th priestly anniversary of Father C. Duane Ryan, a retired priest of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese who served for many years in our diocese and currently lives in Sunrise Beach; the 60th priestly anniversary of Father Kevin Gormley, a retired priest of the diocese; the 50th priestly anniversary of Father Brendan Griffey, a retired priest of the diocese; and the 25th priestly anniversary of Father Henry Ussher, a missionary priest from the Diocese of Wiawso, Ghana, currently serving in our diocese.

The bishop will use the Oil of Chrism in administering Confirmation and in the ordination of priests and the consecrating of churches and altars.

Rev. Christopher Hoffmann, a transitional deacon who hopes to be ordained a priest of this diocese this year, said he’s looking forward to the Chrism Mass.

“It will be a special Mass for me, since it will be at this Mass where I will assist with the preparation of the very Chrism which I will be sealed with, God willing, for a third time — after Baptism and Confirmation — in Priestly Ordination,” he said.

He noted that his time as a transitional deacon has been a time of preparation, moving closer and closer to full priestly ministry.

As part of the Chrism Mass, the priests will renew together their priestly promises — “promises I hope to make at my own ordination this summer,” said Rev. Mr. Hoffmann.

That they may be one

The Chrism Mass recalls the Last Supper, when Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood so his sacred work could continue to be carried out until the end of this age.

Since only bishops may consecrate Chrism, the Chrism Mass highlights the bishop’s ministry and the union of the priests with him.

It also symbolizes the unity among the priests and the people to whom they are sent to minister.

Father Derek Hooper — pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Martinsburg, Sacred Heart Parish in Vandalia and the Mission of St. John in Laddonia — is keenly aware of these connections.

“The Chrism Mass is an exciting time to get together as a group of priests to renew our priestly promises — as we are all ordained and have had our hands consecrated with the Sacred Chrism,” he said.

For him, it’s awe-inspiring to participate in the Mass where he will receive the oils to be used for the sacraments this year — “especially at the Easter Vigil to bring people into the flock of God.”

Using the oils and being with people who desire to enter the Church brings joy to his heart.

“Every time I anoint someone or baptize someone, I am reminded of my priestly authority to heal and bring people into the flock of the Church,” said Fr. Hooper.

In the beginning

The annual blessing of the sacramental oils dates from the early Church.

It originally was part of the Holy Thursday Liturgy, since the Last Supper was not only the origin of the Eucharist but also the Holy Priesthood.

The Oil of Catechumens is used for infants during the baptismal ceremony, and for the anointing of the Elect during the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) as they prepare to be baptized.

It designates all members of the Church as learners in the Church and gives them a protecting strength in the contest against evil.

The Oil of the Sick is used in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

Sacred Chrism is used in Baptism, as well as Confirmation, the ordination of priests and bishops and the anointing of churches and altars.

Given and received

Father Christopher Aubuchon, pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in St. Elizabeth and St. Anthony of Padua Parish in St. Anthony, often reminds his parishioners where the sacramental oils come from.

“This Holy Oil has been blessed by our bishop at the Chrism Mass,” he tells them whenever he administers one of the sacraments that include an anointing.

“I say this phrase, indicating that the Holy Oils I am using for the good of the person I am ministering to are blessed by our bishop, to make an important connection to the entire diocese,” he said.

This helps clarify that his authority to use these oils comes from his connection to the bishop, “as he is consecrated in the fullness of the Priesthood of Christ, which I get to share in as his priest through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.”

Fr. Aubuchon said the most important and fulfilling priestly ministry he gets to carry out each day is celebrating the sacraments for the people of God who are entrusted to his care.

“Using the blessed Holy Oils in those sacraments that require them is a blessing to the soul receiving them and to me as their spiritual father,” he said.

His favorite image that is brought to mind by a sacramental anointing is that of “strengthening” — “being strengthened by Christ our Blessed Lord, to be healed, as in the Anointing of the Sick, or to prepare for Baptism in the Oil of Catechumens or the consecration of the person after Baptism with the Sacred Chrism Oil,” he said.

He noted that he has received six of the seven Sacraments of the Church in his lifetime — all except the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Baptism, requested for him by his parents when he was 2 weeks old, set him on a trajectory to say “yes” to his vocation as a priest of Jesus.

He has received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick several times, particularly during of his long hospitalization and heart-related condition beginning in 2020.

“I have indeed received the healing effects of this Holy Sacrament, and through the power of prayer, as my heart was healed!” he said.

It is a sacrament of healing — particularly of the soul, he noted, to strengthen people “to persevere throughout their illness and in this life to prepare them for eternal life, by way of forgiveness of their sins, and to strengthen one’s trust in God’s love and plan for their life.”

In nearly 10 years of administering the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to others, Fr. Aubuchon has seen it bring comfort to people who are sick, wounded, suffering and potentially dying.

“My heart is filled with gratitude at the immense privilege of getting to celebrate the sacraments for the people of God, as a priest of Jesus Christ, incarnated into the Diocese of Jefferson City and connected to our bishop’s ministry,” he stated.

That connection is on full display when the bishop, priests and faithful of the diocese gather each year to celebrate the Chrism Mass.

“May God be praised, adored and glorified at all times, in every place, and in every person, forevermore!” said Fr. Aubuchon.

The Chrism Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan Facebook page at: