The mission of sanctifying the world and serving others in a priestly way is “not only for those who are ordained,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ annual Chrism Mass March 25.

“As the Lord’s ‘priests,’ we share in his mission of sanctifying this world, of making this world God’s kingdom — a world of truth, beauty, and goodness; a world of holiness, justice, and mercy,” Archbishop Gomez said in homily.

“This is what the name ‘Christian’ means. It means that we are the Lord’s ‘anointed ones.’ ”

More than 3,000 people — among them some 450 priests serving in the archdiocese — filled the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for the Monday evening liturgy, where the oils to be used for the sacraments of baptisms, confirmation, ordinations and anointing of the sick throughout the year were blessed and later distributed to parishes.

After the homily, several young men and women, many of them students from local Catholic high schools, carried the jars of oil up the cathedral’s center aisle and placed them on tables near the altar to be blessed by Archbishop Gomez.

Young men and women, many students from local Catholic high schools, carried the jars to be blessed by Archbishop José H. Gomez during the 2024 Chrism Mass on March 25 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. (John Rueda)

The Mass was also an opportunity for the priests in attendance to renew the priestly promises made at their ordination. Addressing them in his homily, Archbishop Gomez stressed the importance of serving as “instruments” of God’s love and the call to “to continue his presence on earth, to continue his saving works.”

“We know that apart from Jesus we can do nothing,” said the archbishop. “But we know, too, that with him, all things are possible! Bread and wine can be made his Body and Blood. Sinners can be made holy. The world can be reconciled to God.”

Father Diego Cabrera, S.S.C., pastor of St. Hilary Church in Pico Rivera, said he looks forward to the renewal of his priestly vows at the Mass every year.

“It’s the same as people renewing their baptismal promises,” Cabrera said. “We also promise to be faithful to God, to the Church, and to our communities, every year. That’s why it’s important. We remain in communion with all the faithful, from top to bottom.”

Father Jorge Lopez, a chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College, believes the Mass brings unity among the priests “especially in a place like the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where there are people from different parts of the world, different cultures, different places, different conditions.”

“I think that’s important,” he said.

Six priests in the archdiocese were also recognized during the Mass for their “golden jubilees” marking 50 years in the priesthood: Father Joseph Brennan, Father Dionisio Cachero, Father John Keese, Father Michael Reardon, Msgr. Joseph Greeley, and Msgr. Timothy Dyer. Not in attendance but also celebrating 50 years were Father Joseph Fox, O.P., Father Robert Hodges, and Msgr. Michael Jennett.

The Mass concluded with a final prayer asking for priestly vocations.

For friends Christine Fontana and Kris Holubets, parishioners at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach, it was their first time experiencing the Chrism Mass at the cathedral.

“Just to hear the vows and the sacrifice that they make,” Holubets said.

“It’s the beauty of it, seeing the priests all together,” Fontana said.

Some 450 priests serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles attended the 2024 Chrism Mass on March 25 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. (John Rueda)