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Gifts of Asian Catholics celebrated at World Mission Sunday Mass

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

HAMILTON DEANERY — The Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrated the World Mission Sunday Mass with an Asian emphasis on Oct. 18 at Sacred Heart Church in Fairfield.

The purpose of the Mass, attended by some 300 people, was to build awareness of the ardiocesean Mission Office’s new 5-year archdiocesan-wide effort to build more networks, friendships and solidarity among local Asian Catholic individuals and groups and Catholics of other backgrounds; to remember and honor past and current missionary work in Asia; and to celebrate the spiritual and cultural contributions of Asian Catholics to both the local and global church.

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Children place flowers in front of an image of the Blessed Mother during a Marian devotion at the World Mission Sunday Mass. (Courtesy photo)

The Mass was celebrated by Franciscan Father Bonaventure Bai of China. Concelebrants included Father Larry Tharp, pastor of Sacred Heart, Franciscan Fathers Dan Kroger and Max Langenderfer, Glenmary Father Mike Kerin, Father Baby Shephard, Father Johnson Thekuden, Father Jose Pereppadan, Father Andrew Athapilly, Syro-Malabar rite, and Father Len Wenke, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Madisonville.

The liturgy was planned by five nationalities — Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean and Vietnamese. There were also Japanese  and Indonesian representatives at the Mass. Many different cultural forms of worship were used, such as a large incense bowl from the Vietnamese community; intercessions were proclaimed in Asian languages; the bringing up of food and flowers at the offertory, in addition to the bread and wine, as is common in many Asian cultures; and a Marian devotion after Communion with children offering gifts of flowers to an image of the Blessed Mother.

A fellowship meal after the Mass featured cuisine from each of the communities represented, entertainment by the children of the Syro-Malabar community and a bamboo dance by Filipino dancers.

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