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Ipswich Catholic community celebrating a colourful world of diversity united in one faith

Pacific beat: Samoan community parishioners waving their national flag during the recessional hymn.

THE Ipswich Catholic community was transformed into a vibrant melting pot of cultural diversity on Pentecost Sunday as hundreds of parishioners gave thanks to God.

Catholics with cultural heritages from all over the world demonstrated a strong reflection of the Church’s inclusiveness.

The community participated in a traditional Samoan penitential rite, as school children were taught the Samoan custom of the enthronement of the Word.

Scripture readings were shared in Filipino and Malayalam; prayers were spoken in Italian, Afrikaans, Portuguese and Kirundi; and, to highlight the community’s unity, parishioners held hands during the Our Father, which everyone spoke in their first language.

Parishioner and Year 10 student from St Mary’s College, Claire Parker, said the Mass helped to open her eyes to “the multiculturalism in the Ipswich community as well as the Church”.

“The most amazing part of the Mass was the speaking of the Our Father,” Claire said.

“Each person spoke in their native languages and the Church was filled with the tongues of many cultures.”

Students from each of the six Catholic schools that are part of the Ipswich Catholic community were also represented.

“It was so special to be in a beautiful space filled with so much love, acceptance and happiness,” Year 12 St Mary’s College student Tyla Leisemann said.

“Especially with all the bad news in the media lately, it was a powerful reminder of the happiness and peace we can share as people of God, regardless of who you are and where you come from.”

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