Bishop Alan Hopes celebrated the One Catholic Mass at Peterborough Cathedral on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, on Saturday June 11, and was joined by over 800 parishioners from across the Deanery churches of Peterborough.
The biennial celebration was last held in 2018, due to the Covid pandemic, and included parishioners from St Peter and All Souls, Our Lady of Lourdes, St Luke’s and St Oswald’s, St Olga’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Syro-Malabar parish, and the Polish Mission, and those who had recently made their First Holy Communion.
The congregation were welcomed into the Cathedral by Dean Canon Christopher Dalliston and a display of flags from many of the around 50 nationalities which are represented in the deanery led the procession. The Deputy Mayor of Peterborough, Cllr Nick Sandford, and the Deputy Mayoress, Alderman Bella Saltmarsh, were also in attendance.
In his homily, the Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, noted that the Church is in her ‘after the holidays’ mood. “Last Sunday, Pentecost, ended the long round of Gospel holydays which mark the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Lord,“ said the Bishop. “Our celebration is complete. We can now settle down to reflect on the new insights and experiences God has given us and then apply them to our daily living.”
It is worship that lies at the centre of our Catholic religion, said Bishop Alan: “Not morality, not good works, not preaching, not teaching, talking or speculation – but worship.
“Our Catholic faith is all about the meeting between us and God. God created us for this end – that we should seek him and find him and enter into a relationship with him, here in this life. And then enter into union with him in the glory of heaven. Then, of course, everything else will follow, because our lives will be transformed by his love.”
The choir, comprising singers from different parishes led the singing and the cathedral organ created a suitably joyful accompaniment to the celebration.
After Communion a series of international groups sang songs in their own languages. They included Portuguese, East Timorese, Polish, Lithuanian, Italian and Filipino groups. Fr Adam Sowa thanked everybody for making this Eucharist a happy and uplifting celebration. The First Communion Children gave flowers to Bishop Alan, the Cathedral Dean, and the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress thanking them for their presence.
After the Mass, the whole congregation were invited to join an International Garden Party in the Cathedral Cloisters and see the cutting of a Deanery Cake by Bishop Alan with First Communion children.