105th Migrant and Refugee Sunday Multicultural Mass

Sunday 25th August, 2019


The 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees was celebrated in the Archdiocese of Adelaide with a special Multicultural Mass at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, on Sunday August 25.  Bishop Gregory O’Kelly SJ, the Apostolic Administrator of Adelaide Archdiocese, was the main celebrant, with 26 Priests and Deacons as concelebrants. More than 400 people from different cultures and nationalities attended the Mass and the cultural celebration afterwards.  This shows the solemnity and the significance of this annual celebration for the Catholic Church in Adelaide.  

Bishop O’Kelly’s homily began with his message of gratitude to all who were present, emphasising the multicultural nature of our Catholic church at the present time. Bishop Greg O'Kelly called on all of us, especially the leaders of our country to ‘open their hearts to welcome’ those who have arrived on our shores, often from very difficult circumstances. He highlighted the value of the individual and the potential contribution of each life to our wonderful nation, given the right opportunity. Bishop Greg talked about the richness and diversity of new emerging communities, such as the African, the Indian and the Vietnamese who will soon open a newly renovated Mass and Community Centre at Pooraka.

The liturgy of the Mass was very multicultural and inclusive with the Readings read in Burmese and Korean, and the Universal Prayers said in Shona, German, Indonesian, Spanish, Maltese and Malayalam. Children are always a feature of this multicultural Mass as they processed down the Cathedral aisle dressed in National Costumes for the Offertory Procession, carrying gifts for the poor symbolising our hopes for the less fortunate.  During the Mass three choirs namely, the ‘Voice for Christ’ Choir, the East Timorese Students Association Choir, and the Adelaide Tamil Catholic Community Choir, sung inspiring hymns in English and in their own languages including Konkani, Tetum and Tamil.

After the Mass everyone was invited to St Aloysius College Hall for the second part of the celebration. The program started with everybody singing together “I am Australian”. Sister Nien Tran RSM, Manager of the Catholic Multicultural Office welcomed everyone, followed by two beautiful performances by a group of children from the Albanian dance school, and an amazing duet by two students of St Patrick's Primary School with their teacher on guitar.  Two group dancing items from the Catholic Vietnamese Community as well as the “Top Secret Band”, kept the show flowing with great music and entertainment for all to enjoy.  Food was in abundance, blessed by the Bishop and shared in a feast of diverse and delicious food contributed by multicultural communities. The celebration concluded at around 5.30pm in a spirit of joy and happiness. 

Please enjoy some of the pictures of the celebration below.