‘Migrant and Refugee people of this Archdiocese — you are the new evangelists!’

As the Catholic World celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, Archbishop Christopher Prowse called forth the Archdiocesan Migrant and Refugee communities to be the “new evangelists” at this year’s Multicultural Mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral.

During his homily, Archbishop Prowse reflected on Sunday’s Gospel story about Thomas not believing until he saw and felt the wounds of the Risen Jesus. The Archbishop asked the multicultural congregation to help the “Thomases of Australia” have a “Divine Mercy encounter.”

“Thomas missed out on his Easter encounter, saying to the others, I’m not going to believe unless I can see and feel Christ’s wounds.”

“So, on this Divine Mercy Sunday, the Risen Lord has a one-to-one encounter with Thomas.

“As our Year of the Holy Spirit indicates, living as Christians with discipleship and mission is challenging without this.”

The Archbishop affirmed the migrant and refugee communities’ deep commitment to the faith, which he said he had experienced first-hand during his priesthood.

“You come to Australia, you know it’s a Christian country, and you say, ‘they’re so low-key, bishop’. Well, I think your insight’s right, but now you’ve made that insight, you have a responsibility,” he said.

“You can bring them home. You are the ones who will help the Thomases of Australia have a divine mercy encounter so they can live out their Catholic faith.

“Migrant and Refugee people of this Archdiocese—you are the new evangelists!”

Archbishop Prowse encouraged the communities to be ‘intercultural’ rather than just ‘multicultural’ during the Mass.

“A great place to do this is at the upcoming Archdiocesan Assembly in October,” he said. “I want you to come along.”

Archbishop Prowse also announced the creation of an intercultural choir.

“I’ve noticed that many of you are from singing cultures. We all have different backgrounds, but in a choir, we come together in the Holy Spirit. There’s a theology behind a choir that we are trying to replicate around the Archdiocese. I want the Migrant and Refugee communities to be front and centre and give us ‘Thomases’ a way back home.”

Members of the Archdiocese’s multicultural communities wore traditional dress and brought music, songs and iconic works of art from their homelands to the celebration.

Representatives from the Korean, Indonesian, Filipino, Vietnamese, African, Anglo-Indian and other Spanish-speaking communities actively participated in the liturgy.

Joining Archbishop Prowse was clergy from Vietnam, Nigeria, and Korea who concelebrated Mass with the Archbishop.


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