Ever since I arrived at Holy Redeemer Parish, I have marveled at the incredible racial and ethnic diversity of our parish and school. We have a sizeable Latino community at our parish, which soon enough will comprise nearly 50% of our parish community. Our school has students born in Africa, students of Asian descent, African-Americans, mixed-race students, and Latinos. We have parents from New Zealand, Australia, England, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, India, Russia, and many other countries.
One of the best definitions I’ve heard of the Catholic Church is, “Here comes everybody!” With nearly 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide, our Catholic family worships God in just about every language under the sun. Our parish is a microcosm of the universal Church, where we are many people yet one body in Christ.
As Pastor, I have heard many express a desire to unify our parish. The cultural divide between the English-speaking and the Spanish-speaking families seems insurmountable at times. There is little interaction or building of friendships and connections.
It often seems that school and church operate independently of each other most days. We rarely have events that bring the entire parish together in worship and celebration.
For this reason, I’m happy to unveil our special Pentecost Sunday event on May 31st. We are calling it: “Pentecost: Love in Every Language.” We will have one Mass on Pentecost Sunday, at 11 a.m., to celebrate the Church’s birthday at Pentecost, and come together as one parish family. We will celebrate our amazing diversity, which reflects the diversity of people gathered in Jerusalem at Pentecost, who heard the Good News preached in their own language.
After Mass, we will proceed outside where we will have a diversity of cultural foods, music, entertainment, art displays, games for children, and a soccer match between parents and children. We will also have our traditional Ministry Fair, since at Pentecost the Holy Spirit gave each disciple a gift for service.
At present, we need volunteers to sign up in the following areas: Food & Beverage, Music & Performances, Crafts/Activities, Event Stations (representing traditions across the globe), Event Logistics, Parking, School Involvement, Marketing & Design, Volunteer Recruitment, Church and School Outreach, Parish Logistics, Liturgy, and the Ministry Fair (English-speaking and Spanish-speaking).
See the flier in today’s bulletin for more information. Next Saturday and Sunday (February 22-23) we will have people in the vestibule after all the Masses with sign-up sheets for those willing to lend a hand.
Please consider how you might contribute something to our celebration of Pentecost. And if you have any cultural gifts to share with us, kindly let us know!
Yours in Christ,