Sunday 22nd July was a very significant day for St Wilfrid’s and its parishioners. Twenty one countries – The Philippines, Poland, USA, Guyana, Mexico, Belize, England, India, Malta, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Spain, South Africa, Slovakia, Singapore, Ireland, Germany, Italia, Scotland, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, all participated in a special Mass celebrated to recognise the cosmopolitan nature of the 11.00 am congregation. Many came dressed in their colourful traditional costumes.
Canon Michael Ryan was welcomed by a traditional Indian ritual, then a representative from each of the 21 countries placed a pin on their country on a map of the world. As this was done, the name of the country was announced to the congregation and Olga, our Slovakian pianist, accompanied.
The first Reading was proclaimed in Slovak, the Psalm sung in German, the second Reading in Italian and the Gospel and Homily in English! The Prayer of the Faithful was in Slovak, English, Nigerian, Hindi, Filipino, German and Spanish. As the gifts were brought to the altar, the Filipino choir sang one of their native songs and the Arti (the Great Amen) was sung in Hindi. The Lord’s Prayer was said in each person’s native language. The Communion hymns were in German and English and the Post Communion in Hindi. A great sense of community and mission was experienced as all sang the recessional hymn ‘You are salt for the earth’.
The celebration continued afterwards in the garden and rectory with exotic foods from many parts of the world and of course a little vino!