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placeholder October 24, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA

The church was filled to capacity, 650 people, with more outside.
ALL: RAÚL AYRALA/THE CATHOLIC VOICE

Chautauqua XX and 100 years for St. Lawrence O'Toole

Karen Kim and Katie Kim wore traditional Korean dance dress.

The Diocese of Oakland celebrated the 20th anniversary of its colorful ethnic festival, Chautauqua, which brings together about two dozen cultures and countries on Oct. 8.

The annual celebration of Chautauqua (a meeting of peoples) took place at St. Lawrence O'Toole-St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish in Oakland, which combined the diocesan festival with its 100th jubilee.

Chautauqua XX began with the sound of the shofar, a traditional musical instrument made from a goat's horn, affiliated with Jewish traditions. Parishioners wanted to feature this gesture to demonstrate the inclusion of not only Catholics, but those of other religions.

Terry Gleeson of St. Lawrence, one of the organizers, said "the shofar was played in biblical times to mark the beginning of a jubilee year.

"In this way it commemorates the Jubilee Year of Mercy and 100 years of the parish," he said.

A procession of groups began after Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, authorized the faithful "To go to the house of the Lord." Among the communities represented were Chinese, Vietnamese, Brazilian, Nigerians, Polish, Irish, Italian, Latino, Indian, African-American, Filipino, Portuguese and more.

Each group prayed and sang in their language. The church was filled to capacity, 650 people, with more outside.

In his homily, Bishop Barber thanked the communities for their large turnout. Each of you should consider the different groups as a treasure, the bishop said. He encouraged the faithful to share with this country "the best things" from every ethnic group.

After the Mass there were ethnic dancers and singing. A traditional Chautauqua song in which the word "thanks' was repeated in many languages, sparking spontaneous applause and cheers.

Food stalls and entertainment by various cultural groups included a traditional dance by young people from the island of Tonga.

Rev. Michael Castori, SJ, parochial vicar at All Saints Parish, Hayward, accepted a challenge from the young people and danced with them, encouraged by cheers from the spectators.


A procession of groups took place before Mass.


Rev. Michael Castori, SJ, center, joined with the Tongan community in dance.

 
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