By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
The people of the Archdiocese of Louisville nearly filled the Cathedral of the Assumption to take part in a Multicultural Pentecost Celebration June 8. The event began with praise music followed by Mass celebrated by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz.
The celebration, sponsored by the archdiocese’s Office of Multicultural Ministry, was designed to give thanks to God for the gift of the Holy Spirit and for the diverse gifts found in the Archdiocese of Louisville, a release from the office said.
In his homily, Archbishop Kurtz noted that Pentecost is the birthday of the church.
“We are coming together from all different cultures and backgrounds in order to say to the Lord Jesus, thank you,” he said. “And to the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the Father and the Son, thank you.”
Archbishop Kurtz noted that his parents were born in the United States but their parents were not.
“Maybe some of you came from another part of the world; maybe some of you, like me, have been a member of a family that is a third generation,” he said.
He said each person gathered brings individual, unique gifts that come from the culture in which they grew up, and added that Jesus needs every one of us.
“We praise God for the richness of our cultures. We praise God because we are one people. We are coming together today to say to our God: Please don’t let us forget, we need the Holy Spirit,” he said.
The archbishop recalled the story of the Tower of Babel from the eleventh chapter of the book of Genesis. It’s the story, he said, of people coming together not for unity but rather to try to get ahead of the other.
“They were not seeking God’s Holy Spirit. They wanted to be in charge of their lives without any help from God,” he said.
The Tower of Babel, he said, is the tower that, too often in our culture, people are tempted to make their own.
People sometimes think, “ ‘Maybe if I got enough money, maybe if I got enough power, enough popularity, I wouldn’t need God,’ ” the archbishop said.
“You and I are gathered today to tell each other and to tell our church and to tell the world: We need the Holy Spirit,” he said.
Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, the archbishop said, Jesus gave what is called the “great commission.”
“He says ‘Now go forth and teach all nations. Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and know that I am with you always,’ ” Archbishop Kurtz said.
He noted that Pope Francis has heeded these words. On Pentecost Sunday, the pope met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at the Vatican.
“They gathered together, as we are, to pray for peace in the Holy Land. He’s praying for peace that will bring people together, a lasting peace, that is filled with justice.
“He wants us to have peace in our hearts, not always grasping for more things but really a desire to live in the Holy Spirit,” he said.
Following the celebration, the congregation gathered for an ice cream social in the Cathedral undercroft.
The Pentecost celebration was sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Ministries and the Office of Worship and was made possible by the Catholic Services Appeal.