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St. Mark’s celebrates diversity at centennial Mass

Posted: 11/11/2005

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DORCHESTER —As the centennial year of St. Mark Parish came to an end, parishioners took part in a Mass Nov. 6 said by Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley and celebrated the rich diversity they had come to know over the years.


The archbishop, unable to attend a prior centennial Mass last Spring due to the passing of his father in Florida, was joined by Father Daniel Finn, pastor, Father Paul Ring, parochial vicar, Father Emmanuel Mwerekande, and Father John McCarthy —who hails from Ireland and will be involved with Irish ministry.

In its early days, St. Mark Parish was home to many Irish immigrants. Today, the parish includes parishioners from as many as 20 nations. In a tribute to multiculturalism, the prayers of the faithful were presented in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

At the offertory procession, Joseph Toohey, representing the United States, presented the American Flag; Khanh Tao, representing Vietnam, presented a boat; Mary Carr, representing Ireland, presented a St. Brigid cross; Elizabeth Metelus, representing Haiti, presented a basket of fruit; Joana Tavares, representing Cape Verde, presented a dictionary; Egidia Ruqwizangoga, repre-senting Africa, presented a drum; and Theresa Bridgemohan, representing Trinidad, pre-sented the flag of her nation.

Taking part in the entrance procession were a handful of girls who made a pretty sight, all clad in white. After Communion, the girls performed a liturgical dance and parishioners responded with a round of applause.

Following Mass, parishion-ers gathered outside with the archbishop for a blessing of the new plaza at the entrance to the church. The plaza, made of red brick and brown flat stones with a landscaped circle in the center, was completed this year in honor of St. Mark’s 100th anniversary.

Archbishop O’Malley then greeted parishioners at a reception in the lower hall of the church named for the third pastor, the late Msgr. Walter F. Donahue.