Fr Anthoni Adimai, representing Bishop Greg O’ Kelly, the Apostolic Administrator of Adelaide Archdiocese, was the main celebrant of the Mass, assisted by 15 priests and deacons of the Archdiocese, most of them migrant chaplains.
Fr Adimai’s homily focused on the theme chosen by Pope Francis for this year’s celebration: Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees.
“We live in a multicultural nation, and migrants and refugees alike continue to come to our country from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds, holding varied religious beliefs,” said Fr Adimai, who is a migrant from India.
“In such a multicultural nation, to be a Christian is to draw near to others, to make ourselves neighbours – not just to those we happen to encounter in our daily journeys – but also to those that we actively seek out and welcome.
“The commandment of Jesus to love God and our neighbours underpins the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
“God is love, and all of us participate in the love of God. As a human society, we are entrusted with the mission to reach out to migrants and refugees – to go beyond borders – as the face of Jesus in their midst.”
“We are created in the image and likeness of God, and it is that image and likeness that is the foundation for our collective need to both welcome, and care for, vulnerable migrants and refugees.
“We should be led by the Spirit of God to care for others, as Christ Himself taught us to love God and to love our neighbours.”
The Filipino and African choirs sang in English and their own language at the Mass and other community members participated in the readings, the universal prayers in six different languages and the offertory procession by six children from three different communities. All those involved in the liturgy wore their national costumes with pride which made the Mass colourful and uplifting.
A multicultural celebration was held after Mass in the Judith Redden Hall at St Aloysius College. The program started with the song I am Australian and a welcome by Sr Nien Tran RSM OAM, manager of the Multicultural Office, followed by dancing and singing by communities before the blessing of the food by Fr Adimai.
Sr Nien said there was a wonderful atmosphere of joy and happiness.
“There was a real spirit of unity in diversity among the participants,” she added.Jump to next article