Sacred music performed by a West African choir, a smorgasbord of ethnic foods and a colorful tradition involving the Gospel book will be highlights of this year’s St. Paul’s Day Mass and reception on the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
The 7 p.m. Mass celebrating the conversion and missionary zeal of the archdiocese’s patron saint, will have an international flair. It will include a procession of nations, multilingual songs and readings, recognition of missionary activities and a “Taste of the Nations” reception. Archbishop Harry Flynn will preside.
“We’re trying to draw out three themes at the Mass,” said Deacon Mickey Friesen, who planned the Mass. “One, St. Paul talked a lot about the call to conversion, and that never ends,” he said. “Second of all, the church is missionary. St. Paul was, of course, the missionary to the gentiles. And third, we are part of a universal church. We’re present around the world, and that’s our catholic nature.”
The Mass will spotlight diversity in the archdiocese, as well as missionary and outreach efforts Catholics are involved in, the deacon said. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, with its cultural and ethnic diversity, is a microcosm of the universal Catholic Church, said Phil Soucheray, director of the Archdiocesan Office for Evangelization and a co-organizer of the Mass.
“The beneficiary of the church’s [evangelizing] mission is really the whole world, as represented by the various cultures and ethnicities that we have right here in the Twin Cities,” Soucheray said. The St. Paul’s Day Mass provides an opportunity to show how the church’s evangelizing mission is being fulfilled, he added. Catholic Spirit
For more information, call the archdiocesan Worship Center at (651) 290-1625 or the Center for Mission at (651) 291-4445.