International Mass – “Diversity and Difference makes us Stronger”

Members of the Pilipino Choir

People representation over twenty-six nationalities gathered in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist on Saturday 19th June to celebrate an International Mass.   Building on the Racial Justice and the previous Migrants Mass, the International Mass is a celebration of the contribution of so many different communities from all over the world that enrich the lives of the Diocese of Salford.

The lively African choir from Oldham and the harmonies of the Pilipino singers brought a unique dimension to the celebration; a lovely choir from ……..sang beautifully and in harmony their own composition on the theme of ‘Be the Change’;  a young Zambian in national dress danced joyfully up the aisles carrying above her head the book of the gospels as she filled the Cathedral with a joyful alarm. The offertory included the assembling of a large globe that represented the all the people of the world joined together by the San Damiano cross that has been adopted by the diocese as part of its Hope in the Future pastoral programme.

In his Homily Bishop John Arnold said, “Our diocese of Salford, Lancashire and the north-west has benefitted greatly from immigration over the years.  Diversity can be a cause of division so thank you all for coming to Manchester and being here today to celebrate this International Mass. With the rise of consumerism in an increasingly secular world there are many distractions to take us away from Faith”.  Bishop John said, “Diversity and difference can only make us stronger. This means that we must reject ethnic divisions and discrimination and live out our gospel values by reaching out to the periphery where the poor and isolated live. As missionary deciples we must take Jesus Christ there!

The celebration was followed by tea and cakes in the Cathedral cloisters served by the members of the Legion of Mary.