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Juneteenth Mass offers precious moments of faith and hope


SELFIE: Cardinal Robert W. McElroy poses for a selfie with attendees of the diocese's annual Juneteenth Mass, celebrated June 18 at St. Rita’s Church. (Credit: Andy Hayt)

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SAN DIEGO — The diocese’s annual Juneteenth Mass brought together the community to mark the official end of slavery in the United States, and to honor the resilience and faith of  enslaved people.

Cardinal Robert W. McElroy celebrated the Mass at St. Rita’s Church on June 18, organized by the diocese’s Commission for African American Catholics.

“This day we remember the terrible era of slavery and the heroism of those who overcame it and brought through it their faith, hope and an understanding of God’s presence in their lives; and contributed all that to our society over all these years,” the cardinal said.

Alice Cooper Smith, a storyteller, also spoke during the Mass.

Every father received a white rose to mark Father’s Day, including Fathers Chima Offurum and Silverio Espenilla, Jr., the parish’s pastor.

After the Mass, the cardinal shared precious moments with young and old, on a special day of faith and hope.

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