Woman with crosier
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| | Catholic Herald photo/Julie Kelemen
Mary Davis-Heikkila holds Bishop Christensen’s crosier before the Chrism Mass March 27. She is an acolyte who serves the bishop by being a “keeper of the crosier” before, during and after Mass when the bishop isn’t using it.
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|A woman in the back of the cathedral, clad in liturgical attire and bearing a crosier – the ceremonial staff a bishop uses – attracts some attention. |
“They ask what am I doing with the bishop’s crosier,” said Mary Davis-Heikkila, a member of Cathedral of Christ the King Parish and a lifelong resident of Superior.
She is a specialized acolyte who prepares and handles the bishop’s crosier at Mass when he’s not using it. This is what she did at the March 27 Chrism Mass. She was the only woman on the altar for the annual blessing of sacred oils to be used in administration of the sacraments.
“I’m in charge of the crosier. I wait for bishop (to arrive at the church), and he brings it in a box. It’s in three pieces, and it screws together. There are times in the Mass when he needs it, and I know those times. I go up to the chair and hand it to him, and he gives it back to me about three or four times during the service.
“They’re a little bit surprised,” she said about people who observe her holding the crosier in the back of church before Mass.
“Some of the services I help him out with,” she said of the bishop. “Other people are trained too for it, but right now I’m the only female that does it. This is my third time to do it. We have practice the night before – all the people – the candle bearers and so forth.”
She smiled and added, “And I don’t have to say a word.”
© Superior Catholic Herald, April 12, 2012