Archbishop José H. Gomez will preside at a special Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sept. 15 to celebrate the contributions of the nearly 40 ethnic communities represented at the Archdiocese
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the country's largest and most diverse diocese, will celebrate the contributions to the Catholic Church of nearly 40 ethnic communities at the 14th annual Celebration of Cultures Mass on Saturday, September 15. The celebratory Mass, led by the archbishop, will begin at 3:30 p.m.
“I look forward to this Mass every year because it is like a family reunion — with all our brothers and sisters from every nationality and ethnicity coming together as God's family to worship and give thanks to our heavenly Father,” said Archbishop Gomez. “If you want to experience the power of the love of God, join us for this joyful celebration.”
With the theme “Do Not Be Afraid of Holiness,” the Mass is a celebration with prayer, song, and cultural expression of the Archdiocese’s diversity.
“In Pope Francis’ Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate/Rejoice and be Glad, he calls us to respond to holiness in own practical ways in today’s world. This is what inspired this year’s theme,” said Maria Aguilar, member of the Ethnic Community Council of the Archdiocese’s Office of Ethnic Ministry, event organizer. “We the Ethnic Communities have seen the courage examples in many martyrs, saints, blessed and holy people from our suffering countries. The Blessed Mother through her many Sorrows is the foremost force of our courage to not fear holiness.”
Highlights of the Mass include:
- Prayer of Four Directions by the Native American Indians.
- Procession of 22 communities carrying a saint or a religious image
- A traditional Samoan story told by Deacon Maselino Alefosio, a representative of the Samoan community.
The nearly five million Catholics in Los Angeles come from about 70 countries and every continent. Worship and ministry is carried out in 42 languages. Among the nationalities that will be represented at the Mass are Filipinos, Vietnamese, Lithuanian, Japanese, Indonesian, Chinese, Nicaraguan, Italian, Belizean, Persian, French, Igbo-Nigerian, Korean, Croatian, African-American, Portuguese, Polish, Salvadoran, Costa Rican and Mexican. All ethnic communities in attendance are expected to wear their traditional native attires.
The Catholic Church recognizes cultural diversity as an important constitutive part of our society. The Mass provides an opportunity to the faithful from throughout the Archdiocese to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Los Angeles and to recognize the unique gifts each of our communities bring to the local Church.
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