ROME (CNS) — Catholics who have immigrated to Italy or are living there for work or study help show the universality of the Catholic Church, a Rome pastor said as he welcomed bishops and faithful from Africa and Latin America to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs, a Rome church designed by Michelangelo.
“In this church today, we see the whole world represented, but unity in faith makes us solidly one,” said Father Pietro Guerini, pastor of the basilica and director of the Diocese of Rome’s office for migrants.
Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast, Ghana, was the principal celebrant at Mass in the basilica May 21, the day the Diocese of Rome celebrates its Festival of the Peoples, highlighting the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the city’s Catholics.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, who is also from Ghana, and 16 other Ghanaian bishops concelebrated. Catholic communities from Ghana, Cape Verde, Latin America and Romania provided the music and did the readings.
In the Diocese of Rome, more than 130 “pastoral centers” — parishes, chapels and oratories — host Masses and other services for 37 different national or linguistic groups.