CATHOLICS from 22 multicultural communities processed into St Stephen’s Cathedral wearing national dress for the Multicultural Mass celebrated by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge last Sunday.
Coronavirus restrictions had taken a toll on the large numbers usually present at the Mass while the typical festivities like the food exhibition were unable to go ahead.
Even so, almost 100 people gathered for the Mass in person.
Evangelisation Brisbane cultural and administration support officer Percy Pamo Lawrence, who has organised the past 25 Multicultural Masses, said this year was all about adapting to what was possible under coronavirus restrictions.
“The silver lining is, in spirit, more people were able to join us by way of live stream,” she said.
More than 650 people watched the Mass which was live-streamed from the cathedral.
The Multicultural Mass also retained many of its characteristics like prayers, hymns and readings spoken in different languages, and the colourful national dress.
Evangelisation Brisbane director Deacon Peter Pellicaan said the Multicultural Mass was “a great expression of the diversity in the Catholic Church in Brisbane”.
“It’s beautiful to see so many faces from so many different countries that are all encountering Jesus in the Eucharist,” Deacon Pellicaan said.
“It’s the Eucharist that brings us all together, and there’s not a better example of that than at Multicultural Mass where faces from all over the world come together to participate in Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist but with each other as Christ’s Body and Blood as well.”
Many of the multicultural community chaplains were able to be present to concelebrate the Mass too, he said.
“They continue to provide colour, life and diversity to our Church and in many ways they’re the future of the Church because some of the largest numbers of Catholics in the Australian Church today, the most growing communities, are often Vietnamese and Lebanese and Filipino, it’s the Church of the future,” Deacon Pellicaan said.
Music was provided by the Maronite Catholic Community, which Deacon Pellicaan said had “great harmonies” and “great cultural significance”.
Deacon Pellicaan also thanked Ms Lawrence and EB’s Jessica Laidler for playing the key roles in making the Mass possible this year.