Migrant & Refugee Sunday 2021 - Multicultural Mass

107th World Day of Migrants & Refugees

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The Archdiocese of Adelaide celebrated the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a solemn Multicultural Mass at St Francis Xavier Cathedral at 2.30pm, on Sunday 26 September. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for the celebration is “Towards an Ever Wider ‘We’ ”. The Mass was organised as a livestream Mass with strict compliance to the government Covid19 regulations.  

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan DD was the main celebrant with around twenty priests and deacons, including chaplains of cultural communities, concelebrating the Mass. It was indeed a very special day for the participants, with the sun shining, the church filled to capacity, as well as 180 viewing the live-stream from the comfort of home.

The congregation was made up of people from many cultures; some came in their national costumes, others in spirit, representing the faith they have brought to Adelaide to make up our diverse and beautiful church. People gathered on this special occasion to pray especially for migrants and refugees and displaced persons in Australia and around the world. 

In his homily, the Archbishop gave a strong message to the congregation encouraging all of us to respond generously to the cry of the poor and perfect our welcome to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who arrive on our shores seeking protection and a place to call home. The Archbishop also emphasised that we are all migrants, together on our pilgrimage journey of Faith. 

The liturgy of the Mass was spiritually inspiring and culturally inclusive. The Adelaide Burmese Catholic Community choir livened the atmosphere with their singing in both English and their native language bringing joy to this Eucharistic celebration. The Readings were beautifully read in Spanish and Arabic; the universal prayers read in several languages, namely Polish, Italian, Malayalam, Kirundi, Tetun and Tamil.  The Archbishop concluded the liturgy of the Mass by inviting the congregation to join him in praying together Pope Francis’ prayer for migrants and refugees with a message that we are called to live and act as members of Christ’s body, ‘the Church’. 

At the end of the Mass, Sr Amelia Fatima was personally thanked by the Archbishop for her contribution to the Adelaide church since her arrival in 2006.  Sr Amelia will soon leave Adelaide to begin another ministry in Darwin.  Archbishop Patrick also took this opportunity to acknowledge the extraordinary work of many who have worked together to create this amazing annual multicultural celebration.

Due to COVID19 restrictions, the usual celebration after Mass with entertainment program and multicultural food was cancelled; however there was a peaceful and serene ambience, and a real sense of gratitude among the people gathered. We gave thanks to God for we are here in Adelaide, we can gather to celebrate this special event, while our brothers and sisters across the borders are still in lockdown.

Please enjoy some of the pictures of the celebration below.