By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor
More than 350 Filipino Catholics from around the Archdiocese of Louisville gathered at St. Margaret Mary Church July 7 for Mass in their native language, Tagalog.
The Mass, led by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz and concelebrated by Filipino Father Noel Zamora, was the first of a newly scheduled Mass to be offered in Tagalog every other month at St. Margaret Mary. It is scheduled for the third Sunday of each month. The next one will be in September, though its time has not yet been decided.
The Mass is a partnership between the archdiocesan Office of Multicultural Ministries (OMM) and the Diocese of Lexington, where Father Zamora serves.
M. Annette Mandley-Turner, executive director of the OMM, said the Filipino Mass fulfills an “action step” in the archdiocesan strategic plan. Beyond that, she said, it fulfills the needs of the Filipino community.
“A number (of people) who attended the liturgy referred to the experience as a way to reconnect with their country, with their culture and with the extended families,” said Mandley-Turner. “They viewed the liturgy as a blessing from God in a time when they needed it.”
One participant told Mandley-Turner that worshipping with the larger Filipino community in her own dialect “brings tears to my eyes and warms my heart.”
She also said that Archbishop Kurtz’s message to the Filipino community “affirmed the cultural traditions of the people and encouraged them to embrace the key elements” of the new evangelization. He referred to Filipino Catholics as “a gift” to the local Catholic community, she said.
Filipino families who attended the Mass also prepared a feast for the celebration.
Mandley-Turner noted that the new Mass is a first step in OMM’s plans to acknowledge the traditions of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the archdiocese.