Wednesday, July 17, 2024

African Faithful Gather to Celebrate their Catholic Joy

As the mid-afternoon light filled St. Joan of Arc Church in Hershey with an autumnal glow of warmth on November 19, faithful from the Diocese’s African community gathered for Holy Mass and a day of fellowship. The Mass, rich in musical expression and joyful participation, was celebrated by Father Deogratias Rwegasira, AJ, chaplain at Lancaster General Hospital, and five other concelebrating priests of the Diocese.

The homilist was Father Bernard Oniwe, OP, pastor of St. Peter Parish Elizabethtown, who delivered a stirring message to the faithful.

“Africa is not a country, it is a very big continent…. It is an African concept, but we are all family. There some 54 countries in Africa, many represented today, but we are one Catholic church,” Father Oniwe said. “We are people of joy; we express that joy freely and that is how we grow our faith. Be proud of who you are, don’t be afraid of who you are. We have joy, and don’t hide your talents, your zeal; let people see it. Africans are people who bring Jesus into our homes, our churches every day. Do not forget that…. We need to gather more often and learn to talk together, spend time together.”

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

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