Archdiocesan Multicultural Mass 2019
Unity in Faith and Action
The annual archdiocesan Multicultural Mass held at the Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane on 25 August is a wonderful example of a tremendous spirit of cooperation present among various cultural communities in the Archdiocese.
This spirit of goodwill is further reinforced by the genuine welcome provided by the Cathedral staff and precinct agencies involved.
Bishop Ken Howell DD celebrated the Mass this year, along with 17 concelebrants: Fr Martinus Situmorang OFM Cap (Indonesian community chaplain), Fr Ignacio Gutierrez CS (Latin American community chaplain and New Farm parish priest), Fr Albert Chan MSC (Chinese community chaplain), Fr Ammar Noor Alcasmousa (Syriac Catholic community chaplain), Fr Ladu Yanga (South Sudanese and Victoria Point parish priest), Fr Francis Belcina OSA (Filipino Mass celebrant and Coorparoo St James parish priest), Fr Joseph Vu SVD (Vietnamese community chaplain), Fr Saji Valiyaveetil (St Alphonsa Indian Syro Malabar parish priest), Fr Saldie Resolado OSA (Filipino Mass celebrant and Villanova College chaplain), Fr Damian Everitt (St Williams Grovely associate priest), Fr Paul Lee (Korean community chaplain), Fr Terrence Nueva (Filipino Mass celebrant and Acacia Ridge parish priest), Fr Stephen Kumangi (Sudanese and South Sudanese community chaplain), Fr Dang Nguyen OSA, Fr David Pascoe (St Peter Caboolture parish priest), Fr Elie Francis (Melkite community parish priest) and Fr Fadi Salame (Maronite community parish priest). Fr Odinaka Nwadike (Cathedral of St Stephen associate pastor) was master of ceremonies.
In the same spirit of cooperation, a number of parishes in the archdiocese also celebrated their own parish Multicultural Mass on this same ‘last Sunday of August’ OR any Sunday that best suited the parish calendar.
In acknowledgement of the contributions of the various cultural communities involved, this is how Brisbane’s Cathedral did it this year:
Acknowledgement of Country delivered by Clyde Cosentino (CMPC Director) | Entrance song and procession sung by all ten cultural community choirs | First Reading read in Croatian | Responsorial Psalm allocated to a Syriac Catholic representative who couldn’t make it on time, so a Cathedral parishioner delivered on her behalf | Second Reading read in Italian | Penitential Rite – Kyrie sung by the Samoan choir & representatives (Samoan ritual ‘Act of Sorrowfulness’) | Gloria sung by St Bakhita Choir (Sudanese & South Sudanese) | Gospel procession and hymn by the Burundi choir & reps | Gospel sung in English in Byzantine tradition by St Clement’s Melkite parish priest | Prayers of the Faithful petitions read in the following languages: Spanish (Latin American), Vietnamese, Tetun (Timor Leste), Burmese, English (Australian), Maltese, Portuguese (Brazilian) | Procession of the Gifts by St Maroun’s Maronite parish reps | Collection of Mass offerings by Fijian, Chinese, Latin American, Indonesian, Brazilian, Burundi and Samoan representatives | Holy, Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation & Doxology sung by the Indonesian Catholic Family choir) | Lamb of God sung by the Korean Gloria choir | Communion Hymns sung by St Thomas (Indian) Syro Malabar Parish Choir, Filipino-Australian Catholic Community of Caboolture Choir | Recessional Hymn by the Latin American countries choir. After Mass: Refreshments – huge thanks to various Communities
The celebrations after Mass was another example of multicultural unity in action: Francis Rush Centre’s Hanly Room became the drop off point for communities donating plates, platters and trays of finger food that were then distributed to food servers in the grassy area behind the cathedral. The kitchen area of Mercy House on the right side of the Cathedral became busy stations for tea & coffee and juice & water. Nearby stood ready two First Aid personnel. Over on the other side of the Cathedral were two Police Officers having a cup of coffee and chat with Clyde yet ever prepared for any unexpected incident.
While people enjoyed their food and catch-ups, song and dance performances were happening on the elevated grass area near the Old St Stephen’s chapel. Cultural performances included songs by talented performers from the Colombian/Latin American community, a Croatian folkloric dance by a group of children and adults, a traditional Indonesian dance called Gemu Famire and an impromptu traditional Iraqi Syriac dance which was enjoyed by all.
Pack up time for the Multicultural Mass and celebrations in the Cathedral is always set strictly at 5pm. Two and a half hours is always never enough for the many people, including the organisers, who absolutely enjoy this once-a-year event in the Cathedral precinct. Perhaps the possibility of a multicultural pilgrimage to the Marian Valley could be explored. This is the place where various cultural communities have built their Marian shrines and where they practice and experience their own cultural expressions of faith.
The contributions of all who worked ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘on the scene’ during Multicultural Mass celebrations are deeply acknowledged. Until the next Multicultural Mass. Peace and blessings to everyone.
A Big Thank You
“Thank you for the richness and diversity you bring to our lives and our Church. Thank you for bringing before our eyes the vast reality of the People of God across the nations. Thank you for your energy and enthusiasm for the faith which energises us in this land and shows us all how to be faithful and faith-filled. We very much need you and all that you bring.”
Bishop Ken Howell DD
Archdiocese of Brisbane
The Archdiocesan Multicultural Mass was again celebrated on Sunday, 25 August at the Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane.
The Multicultural Mass was the culmination of celebrations for the Migrant and Refugee Week in the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) calendar.
This year the Multicultural Mass was celebrated by Bishop Ken Howell and concelebrated by Cultural Community Chaplains and Eastern Catholic Rites clergy.
The Mass was truly a wonderful liturgical celebration and lived up to its colour, music and worship. Some 1200 people from many cultural Catholic communities across the Archdiocese attended in their traditional costumes. The ten individual cultural choirs reflected the reality of our culturally diverse church, particularly in our archdiocese.
From experience, the scale of this Mass cannot happen unless there are scores of volunteers from various cultural communities working in tandem with their cultural representatives/leaders and their chaplains with whom we, in turn, coordinate at planning meetings.
These are the people who work behind the scenes – volunteers from various cultural communities who assisted in managing traffic as cars enter the Cathedral carpark, those who helped arrange seating for choirs and readers, those who distributed Mass booklets, those who assisted in Mass collection, the communities that donated food, those who coordinated the distribution of food donations from various cultural communities, the food ‘runners’ and ‘servers’, the tea/coffee/juice/drink servers, and particularly, those who assisted in tidying up the Cathedral grounds after all the celebrations have finished.
A big thank you to the choirs who prepared and practiced in the months leading up to Multicultural Mass. The smorgasbord of worship music is something to behold.
I would like to thank Bishop Ken Howell, Fr Odinaka Nwadike, Fr Anthony Mellor, Fr David Pascoe and the clergy who celebrated the Mass.
Finally, I’d like to sincerely thank Percy for the many months of organising the many, many parts that are needed to bring together this massive liturgical gathering.
It was another day to remember.
Clyde Cosentino (Director)
Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care
[See What’s Up? September 2019 newsletter]
More photos shared by a number of communities [copy & paste url if links don’t work]
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmYj3IFR3_7wxBgIQ6BjbHt9PW6D?e=djxhOR [Chinese Catholic Community Brisbane]
https://www.facebook.com/stclement.church [St Clement’s Melkite Parish]
https://www.facebook.com/St-Bakhita-Pastoral-Council-Brisbane-148234115377774/ [St Bakhita Pastoral Council]
https://www.facebook.com/brisbanesyromalabar/ [St Alphonsa Syro Malabar Parish North Brisbane]
https://www.facebook.com/SYRIAC.CATHOLIC.IN.BRISBANE.2017/ [Syriac Catholic Church in Brisbane]