Photos by Frank J. Methe | CLARION HERALD
At the annual Chrism Mass on March 27, Archbishop Gregory Aymond blessed the sacramental oils that will be used throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans in the coming year.
He used the occasion to speak directly to the students from Catholic schools who were at St. Louis Cathedral in numbers so large some had to participate in the Mass from the balcony above the altar.
At the end of Mass, Archbishop Aymond gave each student a cross fashioned from two nails and asked the teens to wear it or keep it in their pocket as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for them through his passion, death and resurrection.
“You know better than I do that there are many voices out there,” the archbishop said. “There’s also that thing called peer pressure that does not always call you to the values of Jesus but would suggest that it’s OK to put aside the values of Jesus and to do what we want. But in the midst of that tension, Jesus says, ‘Do not be afraid. Be bold. Be courageous.’” The archbishop said the cross, without the body of Jesus, is a reminder that “as the anointed of God, you are the hands, the heart and the voice of Jesus in our world today. You are missionary disciples.”