The main liturgical focus was the 8am Mass at Shortland, concelebrated by Parish Priest, Fr Tony Brady – a native of Ireland – and Vietnamese priest, Fr Peter Tran. Parishioners of various ethnic backgrounds joined the celebration, many in national costume. Intercession prayers offered in various languages were presented in English on the overhead. Glorious singing was led by the Tongan-Samoan community.
Later, up to one hundred and forty gathered in the school hall for a multi-cultural meal – a banquet of flavours from many diverse nations. Amid the variety of dishes the humble vegemite and cheese sandwich was, surprisingly, not the most appreciated delicacy on offer.
After the meal came a correspondingly varied and appealing concert of song and dance from Tonga/Samoa, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. Even the Aussies gave it a go, setting a standard of vocal excellence that the others transcended with ease.
The highlight for Fr Brady was the eagerness of all to participate. No-one required the slightest coercion. All who contributed liturgically, and with food and entertainment, were keen and proud to have their national character celebrated in our parish life.
If humankind is truly made in God’s image and likeness our multi-cultural Mass, meal, and concert celebration reflected a God who is very inclusive, very beautiful and very talented.
Photos courtesy of Kylie Armstrong.