April 27, 2010

Catholic immigrants celebrate special mass


by Benjamin Graham

Over 2,000 Catholic immigrants are expected to attend a special Mass for Migrants in London next week.

The mass, to be celebrated at Westminster Cathedral on 3 May, marks the anniversary of a Catholic-led campaign for immigrant amnesty, Strangers into Citizens.

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, will lead the Mass for Migrants service for the first time since his appointment as Archbishop of Westminster in 2009.

Nigerian and Vietnamese Catholics will play a key role in this year’s mass – the fifth Mass for Migrants – which celebrates the diversity of London’s Catholic community.

“Migration has its painful and most discomforting challenges,” said Fr Albert Ofere, ethnic chaplain for the Nigerian community in London.

“The Chaplaincy has got a legal surgery and a project team to help point people in the right direction in settling.

“The Chaplaincy also creates a family and friendly atmosphere for interaction and networking.”

Fr Paul Chanh, ethnic chaplain for the Catholic Vietnamese community, said it’s important for migrants to be able to celebrate mass in their own language.

“They want to say Mass in their own language, and they want to teach their children the catechism in their mother tongue,” he said.

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