Cultural DiversityNews

Come ready to celebrate in the universal Church

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SAN DIEGO — The pandemic forced everyone to live for a year virtually shut off from the people and activities they loved. An opportunity is coming up in May to join in person the world’s Catholic family in a joyous celebration of culture and faith.

The San Diego Diocese is hosting the fourth annual Pentecost Mass for All People on Saturday morning, May 22. The celebration will be held outdoors at Good Shepherd Parish and will include exhibits and live music, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased. The event also will be livestreamed.

This is the diocese’s largest Mass that brings together its cultural communities, which have roots  in the native lands of the U.S., Asia, the Pacific region, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

“We say we’re part of a universal Church,” said Father Michael Pham, who leads Good Shepherd Parish and the diocesan office that organizes the Mass. “In this Pentecost celebration, you can see and feel what that really means. It’s beautiful.”

Due to the pandemic, the communities participated via Zoom in last year’s Pentecost Mass, which was celebrated by Bishop Robert McElroy.

The bishop will celebrate this year’s Mass as well, and many of the beautiful aspects of the first two editions will return. At the beginning, there will be a colorful procession of communities, with their representatives wearing traditional attire.

The Scriptural readings will be in two languages: Filipino, whose community is commemorating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, and Luiseño, spoken by one of the native peoples in the region. The Universal Prayer will be delivered in multiple languages, as well.

Everyone is encouraged to arrive by 10 a.m. to have time for joyful reunions, since it will be one of the first opportunities to meet friends not seen in person for a year. The Mass will start at 11 a.m. Afterward, all are invited to walk through the heritage exhibits that will share each community’s faith history and traditions.

Participants should be prepared to protect themselves from the sun at this outdoor event. And come ready to be immersed in the peace, unity and beauty of the universal Church.

More information about the Pentecost Mass for All People is available at sdcatholic.org/pentecost2021.

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