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World Mission Sunday celebrated at cathedral

Bishop Donald Pelletier delivers his homily at the Mass for World Mission Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

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SOUTH END -- Filled with songs and readings in a variety of languages and flags from a number of different nations, the Mass on World Mission Sunday, Oct. 18, in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross payed homage to diversity in the Boston community and in the Catholic faith.

A yearly event, World Mission Sunday seeks to celebrate different cultures as well as the achievements of Catholic missionaries. Presiding over this year's Mass was Bishop Donald Pelletier, who himself had served in the missions and was formerly the bishop of Morondava, Madagascar.

In his homily, Bishop Pelletier talked about the importance of mission in the Church.

"The Church exists to evangelize. The very nature of this theme is mission. If she is not evangelizing, if she's not mission, she is not the Church of Jesus Christ," he said.

The bishop continued by explaining that everyone has a mission, and to be a Christian is to be a missionary. He ended his homily by discussing love in the family, and saying "on this Mission Sunday, may all our families become beacons of light, to accomplish that mission of love."

After Bishop Pelletier's homily, intercessory prayers were said in eight different languages: Luganda, Portuguese, Swahili, Chinese (Cantonese), Vietnamese, Spanish, and English, and the bishop blessed the colorful World Mission Rosaries that were given out at the beginning of the Mass. Three different choirs -- the Kenyan Catholic Community and Friends Choir, the Vietnamese Choir from St. Ambrose Parish, Dorchester, and the Cape Verdean Choir from St. Edith Stein Parish, Brockton, performed during the Mass.

Following the conclusion of the Mass, the relics of the newly canonized Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, were presented in a small reliquary, and a long line of massgoers venerated them. The first married couple to be canonized, Louis and Zelie Martin were made saints on Oct. 18, the same day as World Mission Sunday.

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