Brothers and Sisters, 

The journey we began on Ash Wednesday and the sacrifices we have made have led us to Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, after our Lord’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, we move directly into Holy Week, the most solemn time of the liturgical year. The Church asks us to enter more deeply into the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.    
On Thursday, March 21st, we will celebrate the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler.  At this Mass, the Sacred Chrism is consecrated, and the Oils of the Catechumens and the Sick are blessed. Through anointing, these blessed oils accompany each one of us from baptism to death. And at this Mass, priests from throughout the diocese renew the promises made at their priestly ordination. 

On Holy Thursday, we begin the Paschal Triduum, comprised of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.  The Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrates the institution of the Holy Eucharist as Jesus’ Body and Blood.  It was on this night that Jesus gave us the gift of the priesthood.  

On Good Friday we commemorate the Passion of the Lord, which is a day to reflect on the suffering, Passion and Death of Jesus and on the saving power of the Cross.  On Holy Saturday night, we celebrate the Easter Vigil which marks the Resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. This is the most solemn liturgy of the Church which begins with the blessing of the Easter fire and the lighting of the Easter candle. The paschal candle leads us into the dark church which is a sign of Christ dispelling the darkness of sin and conquering death. On this blessed night, the Church initiates new Christians, and we renew our baptismal promises to follow Christ – our hope and Resurrection!

I invite all to join in these solemn celebrations. May this Holy Week be a grace-filled time where we experience the mercy of God and the new life in Christ.  
Bishop Vásquez

Apostolic Administrator