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State Chaplin 2017 - 2018

Picture of Rev Kenney St. Hilaire

Rev Kenney St. Hilaire

October 2017  

For the last few months, we have been doing some deep pondering on the mystery of the celebration of the Eucharist. Specifically, we have been considering how the Mass is an event at which we have the privilege of being present and in which we have the even greater privilege of participating. At each Mass, the event of Calvary (Jesus offering up His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity to the Father in the Holy Spirit) is made present so that we are essentially standing at the foot of the Cross. The event of the Resurrection is also present, as we receive from the sacred altar the Eucharist: the very Flesh of the Risen Lord. It’s quite an amazing gift we’ve been given, and most definitely worthy of more time spent in reflection.
This month, however, we are going to take the same principle that spurred our reflection on the Eucharist and apply it to another part of our life. Remember the principle: we need to rediscover the beauty and meaning of the Mass so as to participate more fully in it, for God’s glory and for our salvation! Rediscovery and renewal are incredibly important in other areas of life, too. Imagine that someone sends you on a long journey, entrusting to you a message to be delivered to a faraway friend. Suppose there are many dangers and numerous unexpected changes of plans along the course of your journey. It’s possible that after you’ve been on the road for a good, long time, you begin to forget where you came from and why you set out in the first place. However,
if you are to follow through with what you said you would do, you must always remember who sent you and what the message was. If you lose sight of the mission, you won’t end up at the right destination.
 “Rediscovery” and “renewal” describe the process of getting back in touch with the mission on which we have embarked. We all need this. I’ll give you a few examples. Every year at the Chrism Mass, just before Easter, priests renew the promises of their ordination. I always experience a new zeal in ministry as a result of this renewal of promises because it leads me to a rediscovery of the reasons I sought to become a priest in the first place. It’s a great opportunity to compare my life as it currently is with the life that I promised to live when I was ordained. I’m certain that God gives a grace in the Chrism Mass so that in my priestly life I can be more and more authentic and ever truer to my identity. Married couples, on occasion, renew the vows they made on their wedding day. Almost every time I talk to groups of married couples, I encourage them not to wait 25 years to renew their vows! In fact, I think it should be done at least once a year, just as a priest renews his promises on a yearly basis. You might be surprised how this rediscovery of the vows makes a difference in the day-to-day living of them!
 The Church, in her wisdom, urges all the faithful to renew the promises of their baptism every year during the Easter Vigil, or at Mass on Easter Sunday. Really, one of the main purposes of the season of Lent is to prepare ourselves for the solemn renewal of our baptismal promises. It’s a big deal. When we renew those promises, we rediscover our mission. Then, God gives us the grace to be more and more faithful to the mission. Where do you need renewal in your life? Will you ask God to help it happen?
Vivat Jesus!

Fr. Kenneth St. Hilaire

State Chaplain