Oct. 12 Mass will give thanks for diversity, pray for Africa - Catholic Courier

Oct. 12 Mass will give thanks for diversity, pray for Africa

ROCHESTER ‚Äì A celebration of World Mission Sunday held last fall to commemorate Bishop Matthew H. Clark’s 2006 trip to Africa was so well-received that a second-annual Mass will be held this month at Sacred Heart Cathedral, organizers say.

“The Mass is certainly a way to give thanks for the diversity among us and to pray for our sisters and brothers in Africa,” said Sister Janet Korn, social-justice awareness coordinator for the diocesan Catholic Charities, who serves on the diocesan African awareness committee. The group works to provide information about the issues affecting Africa and efforts to build solidarity with the people of that continent, according to a flier about the Mass.

“When people were leaving the cathedral last year, many of them said, ‘We’ll be back next year,'” Sister Korn added. “At that point we hadn’t thought about next year, but here we (are) again by popular demand.”

The Mass could not be scheduled at the cathedral on World Mission Sunday Oct. 19, Sister Korn noted, so the committee instead chose to have the Mass there on Oct. 12.

“We also did it (the Mass) on World Mission Sunday (last year) in order to raise up the importance of the church’s mission to all people and to help us think and pray about the universal church,” Sister Korn said. “Even though we are a week early (this year), we will be remembering our missions to (and) with our sisters and brothers around the world.”

Sister Korn noted that last year’s Mass highlighted the trip Bishop Clark and Father Joseph Hart, one of the diocese’s vicars general, made in late 2006 to the native countries of the African priests serving in the diocese, including Kenya and Tanzania.

The diocese’s Catholic Relief Services also served as cosponsor of last year’s celebration and set up a table display of its “Work of Human Hands” crafts made by artisans from several African countries, said Kathy Dubel, CRS’ diocesan coordinator who also works in the justice-and-peace office of Catholic Charities of Chemung County.

The handcrafts as well as coffee and chocolate produced in Africa will again be on display, Dubel added. Individuals and parishes also may obtain information on how to support artisans and farmers in Africa through CRS’ Fair Trade program, she said.

“Many who attended the celebration (last year) told us they were hearing about the Catholic Relief Services’ Fair Trade Program for the first time and were delighted to hear that CRS is engaged in so many ways in Africa,” Dubel said.

A World Mission Sunday Mass celebrating Africa will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 296 Flower City Park. A reception and fair-trade exhibit will follow. For more information, contact Sister Janet Korn at 585-328-3228, ext.1287, or skorn@dor.org, or Kathy Dubel at 607-734-9784 or kdubel@dor.org.

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