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One Mass celebration fills Peterborough Cathedral

Catholic parishioners from Peterborough filled the city's Anglican cathedral for a One Mass and international celebration on Saturday evening (June 2). Keith Morris reports.

Around 800 people gathered for the biennial Mass staged by the Parish of St Peter and All Souls, along with Our Lady of Lourdes in Dogsthorpe and Sunday Masses were cancelled.

Parish priest Fr Adam Sowa said: "There is a great sense of community at the heart of Peterborough. Throughout its history it has served an enormously diverse community differing in language, culture, nationality and ethnicity.

"Irish, English, Italian, Portuguese, Daman, Polish, Lithuanian, Filipino are just some of the nationalities that come together each week to pray and worship. Bringing such diversity together may on the outside seem a bit like mission impossible, but it has become a sweet burden and a blessing.

"During the Mass we prayed in many different national languages thanking God and Our Lady for the faith and love of parishioners and priests who have gone before us as well as we looked forward towards the future, praying for many blessings upon our church building and upon our parish community."

Bishop Alan gave a homily on the Feast of Corpus Christi and said: "In our festive procession at the end of Mass we bring Christ, present under the sign of Bread, onto the streets around the cathedral. We entrust the streets, homes and families of our city to him and pray that they too might be filled with his presence and blessing."

Many of the different national groups took an active part in the evening, carrying flags in the opening procession, saying prayers in their own languages and helping to provide an international feast in the cloisters afterwards.

Over 30 First Communion children had their picture taken with Bishop Alan, helped him cut a celebration cake and received certificates.

The cathedral was used by kind permission of the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister and the Cathedral Dean, the Very Rev Chris Dalliston, who introduced the Mass and stayed for the whole evening.

Explaining the history of the event, honorary archivist at All Souls, Peter Waszak, said: "From our records it seems that in February 1983 Catholics attended Concelebrated Mass to mark the end of "Mission '83'. It was the first time the whole parish was able to get together at one service. However there was no claim that this was the first Catholic Community Mass in the Cathedral since the Reformation, and there may possibly have been earlier occasions? In May 1987 there was an All Souls Deanery Mass. In April 2005 there was the Pope John Paul II Requiem Mass. Half-a-dozen One Masses have been held since then and the next one is planned for 2020."

Pictured above, Cathedral Dean Chris Dallison (left), Bishop Alan Hopes and Fr Adam Sowa cut the celebration cake in the cloisters of Peterborough Cathedral. Pictures by Keith Morris

For a full picture gallery of the One Mass and International Celebration click here or see below.

One Mass Peterborough Cathedral June 2018