SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Diocese is inviting all faithful to its annual Pentecost Mass for All Peoples, “a beautiful visual expression of the universality in our local Church.”
That’s how Marioly Galván, the diocese’s chancellor, describes the event, to be held on Saturday, May 27. The Mass, which has drawn more than 2,000 faithful in previous years, will be held at a new location, the spacious gym at San Diego Miramar College.
Cardinal Robert W. McElroy will again celebrate the Mass, which brings together more than 20 cultural Catholic communities present in the diocese. These include African, African American, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Hispanic, Indian, Irish, Italian, Native American, Samoan, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
Afterward, there is an outdoor festival, complete with exhibits sharing the cultures’ history and rites, a sampling of traditional food, and live entertainment.
“We are united in Christ, and we celebrate the birth of our Church ever so fervently more than 2,000 years later,” said Galván.
The Mass opens with a vibrant procession of cultures, each represented by a handful of their members wearing their native attire. The liturgy features the faith traditions of various peoples, accompanied by a choir composed of members from many cultures.
This year, the Mass will highlight neophytes, the newest members of the Catholic Church who were baptized at the Easter Vigil.
“They have been invited to partake of this experience and grow ever more profoundly in the richness that our Church offers to all members,” said Galván.
The Church worldwide is participating in a synod, or consultation, of the faithful. As part of that, all Catholics are encouraged to meet their neighbors, particularly those who may be of a different culture or background. Galván noted that the Pentecost Mass is a joyous setting for those encounters.
The organizers have invited the four transitional deacons who are to be ordained to the priesthood on June 2. With roots in Italy, Latin America, the Philippines and Vietnam, they are a testament to the support their communities gave them to pursue a vocational life.
The diocese’s Office for Ethnic and Intercultural Communities organizes this event, and members of the cultural communities provide all the logistical support, sweating the last detail. The Pentecost Mass was previously held in Cathedral Catholic High School’s gym. This was not an option this year because the date coincided with graduation.
The organizers moved the event to Miramar College’s roomy Hourglass Field House & Gym, which has all seating on one level. The college, at 10440 Black Mountain Road, is conveniently located just off I-15, between the Carroll Canyon and Mira Mesa Boulevard exits. The site has ample parking and a San Diego Transit Center on campus.
The event is free and begins at 10 a.m. with a Call to Worship; the Mass is at 11 a.m., with the cultural festival to follow after noon. Everyone is invited to wear attire from their cultural roots.
“The coming together of cultural communities … is a testament that we are bound by the same love that Christ Jesus has for every single one of us,” Galván said. “Our solidarity is palpable; the joyful sound of children, youth and adults gathering to celebrate together truly gives us hope.”
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