Chalices hold meaning for priests, the Church

May 30, 2024
The chalices and patens of Transitional Deacons Michael Batista and Phillip Mills. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

ORLANDO  |  Since the inception of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, when Jesus took bread and wine, turning it into His Body and Blood saying, “Do this in remembrance of me,” (Lk 22:19), the Church has used chalices and patens for the Eucharistic liturgy.

As is the custom, deacons about to be ordained to the priesthood have their chalices blessed on the eve of their Ordination. Most often, the chalice and paten blessed is a gift.

The chalice and paten of Father Phillip Mills. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

“It’s a tradition in the Catholic church that the chalice and paten a priest receives for his first Mass is one he uses his whole life,” explained newly ordained Father Phillip Mills. “He uses it to remember those who have been with him throughout his journey and for those who have given him his chalice and paten – for him to continue to pray for them.”

Father Mills chalice is a gift from his home parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Candler. At the base of the chalice is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Ann teaching her daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph. On the cup is the symbol of the Holy Trinity, the Most Sacred Heart and the Eucharist.

“It is a reminder to always be learning, to be humble like St. Joseph and to always follow the Sacred Heart,” Father Mills said. “One of the reasons I love this chalice is because the Sacred Heart lines up with the symbol of the Trinity, so I can always remember when I’m celebrating Mass, that we are in the heart of Jesus lifting up our prayers to the Father.”

Father Michael Batista’s chalice is a gift from his parents, Pedro and Inez, his Aunt Teresa Dobrow and cousin Keith Dobrow – who were all present at his Ordination.

The chalice and paten of Father Michael Batista. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

“I wanted something that represented the Passion of Jesus. This chalice clearly does,” Father Batista said. On the cup there are several images hewn in silver showing Jesus having the crown of thorns placed on His head, being nailed to the cross and pierced with the lance after His death.

At the base, each of the angels bears a sign of the Passion. One holds the lance with which He was pierced, another holds the sign stating “INRI,” another holds the crown of thorns and another the nails.

Also found at the base is the dove, Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic Staff, May 30, 2024