Archdiocesan Multicultural Mass 2016
Not a Show but an Affirmation of Faith and Unity
Far from being ‘a show of cultures’, the Multicultural Mass that occurs every year at the Cathedral of St Stephen and the cultural celebrations that follow is a humble but powerful affirmation of faith and unity that is truly present across the rich and diverse cultures in the Brisbane archdiocese.
Now on its 44th year, this year’s Multicultural Mass was held on the 28th of August at the Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane. Mass was celebrated for the fourth year running by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
In his homily, Archbishop Mark said that migrants and refugees are God’s gift and that they are an integral presence in the life of the Australian church and nation.
“In some ways you are the future of the Catholic Church in this part of the world.” the Archbishop said. “You haven’t come here by accident; you come here as the gift of God and we need you.” he said.
“Here at the Cathedral today, we give thanks for the great variety of communities that make up the Church. And we ask that this gathering will become a prophecy, a vision of the future that beckons, a future of the Church that is genuinely catholic, genuinely universal, but also a prophecy of what lies ahead for this nation of migrants and refugees.”
The Chaplains and priests ministering to ethnic communities in Brisbane who concelebrated with Archbishop Mark were Fr Albert Chan MSC (Chinese), Fr Pio Hendi OFM Cap (Indonesian), Fr Paul Mahony SM (Brazilian), Fadi Salame (Maronite), Fr Stephen Kumyangi (South Sudanese), Fr Francis Elie (Melkite), Fr Joseph Vu SVD (Vietnamese), Fr Nacho Gutierrez CS (Latin American), Fr Terry Nueva (Filipino) and Fr Fransiskus Yangminta CS (New Farm).
As in previous years, Multicultural Mass was held in the archdiocese in observance of the National Migrant and Refugee Week which this year carries the theme from Pope Francis’ message for the for the 102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, ‘Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us, The Response of the Gospel of Mercy’.
This year’s Mass had twelve choirs — the most number of choirs participating compared to past years. The choirs are from the Burundian, Chinese, Filipino, Italian, Korean, Latin American, Maronite Lebanese, Samoan, South Sudanese, Tongan and Vietnamese communities.
The Cathedral accommodated a standing room only of up to 1,200 attendees representing approximately 35 countries.
About 17 ethnic communities donated a variety of food that fed ‘the hundreds’. Volunteers from these communities also and assisted in the orderly distribution of food and drinks.
The annual Multicultural Mass is organised by the Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care in coordination with the Ethnic Ministers Group and their communities represented in a Planning Group.
(Percy Pamo Lawrence)