St Thomas The Apostle Eucharistic Celebration
Under COVID-19 Restrictions
On the 3rd July, 2020 at 7pm, the new Archbishop of Adelaide, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan and 16 concelebrating priests and deacons, celebrated the first Multicultural Mass for the Community since COVID-19 restrictions.
The Mass was live-streamed from St Francis Xavier Cathedral, with a limited number of people in the pews. However, this did not lessen the importance of this celebration, highlighting the significance of the St Thomas, Patron Saint of India, with more than 450 people viewing the Mass online.
The celebration started with a beautiful ceremony of “Maha Aarathi”. Three girls, dressed in Indian traditional costume, performed a cultural liturgical dance in front of the altar. The inclusion of this special traditional ceremony reveals the delicate balance required to bring faith and culture together in our liturgical celebrations. The Tamil Choir lifted the celebration with hymns sung in English and Tamil. The Universal Prayer was read in English, and several Indian languages, namely, Konkani, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kanada. The theme of the prayer was focussed on the poor, the oppressed and victims of COVID-19 in Australia, India and the world.
The Archbishop addressed the congregation with his inspiring homily on the missionary life and faith of St Thomas which captured the attention of the congregation. Archbishop’s message was one of mercy and truth, as he described a possible scene of the risen Lord Jesus appearing to Thomas and letting him be touched by God’s grace.
This year’s celebration was different from other years, due to the Covid restrictions, with limited participation, no customary individual blessing of the children at the end of the Mass, and no gathering after Mass to share traditional Indian food. However, it was equally special for the people of the Archdiocese of Adelaide in general and for the Indian Catholic Community in particular. Everyone enjoyed the amazing music, and valued the message at the altar being hope, compassion, love and faith.