The Most Reverend Bishop Joseph Francis Kweku Essien, Bishop of the Sefwi-Wiawso Diocese of the Catholic Church has called on Catholic priests to perform their priestly duties with commitment, faithfulness and zeal to win more souls to the Catholic Church.
He noted that disunity, in cordiality and differences among priests have become a major source of tension among priests and urged them to iron out their differences and work in unity and togetherness.
Bishop Essien said this in a sermon during Chrism Mass held at Mary Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral in Takoradi as part of activities of the Holy week to herald the celebration of Easter.
The mass, which was attended by more than 100 priests, as well as the religious ( Rev. Sisters, brothers) and the lay faithful drawn from all the parishes in the dioceses, was used to bless special oils to be used throughout the year, for the anointment of catechumens, the sick and the ordination of priests.
Chrism Mass manifests the unity of the priests with their Bishops and it also allows them to renew their commitment (vows) to their priestly duties.
Bishop Essien tasked priests to abide by their priestly vows and live and work in unity for the development and growth of the Catholic Church.
“Priestly work is the work of Christ and you must strive to do what is expected of you, use your strength, wisdom and expertise to glorify the Lord and serve the people of God”.
He underscored the importance of the Holy oils in the Catholic Church, describing it as sacraments, which should be administered only by the priests.
He warned that the Holy oil especially the oil for the sick should not be used indiscriminately, adding that “it is only the Catholic Priest who is quality to administer such oils which could be done more than once.
The Bishop tasked priests to promptly respond to calls on sick to administer the oil of the sick on them, stressing,”do not joke with the call on the sick, take it seriously”.
Bishop Essien cautioned the parishioners to desist from buying and patronizing all kinds of oils for anointment, but should always call on the priests if the need be.
The Bishop also called on the parishioners to continue to collaborate and work with the priests to help build their spiritual lives.
He noted with concern that some parishioners did not even know the names of the priests in their parishes, which he described as unfortunate and urged the parishioners to change the attitude and work more closely with their priests.
The Bishop called on the priests to do everything possible to enhance the development and growth of the Catholic Church.