Multiple languages heard at Mass for Pentecost


The Catholic Messenger

IOWA CITY — St. Mary Parish hosted a multilingual Mass on May 20 to celebrate Pentecost Sunday.

Congolese Community Singers sing worship music during Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 20, at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City.

Pentecost celebrates the apostles’ reception of the Holy Spirit, through whom they began to proclaim Christ to the crowd in the languages that the listeners from different lands could understand. That allowed the spread of the Good News.

“The Holy Spirit — the Spirit of mission — guides and strengthens our witness to Christ; the same Spirit was the driving forced in the life and mission of Christ himself” (


Julia Correia, an eighth-grader, read the first reading in Portuguese. Huiyu Gong read the second reading in Chinese. Pilar Marce, a University of Iowa student originally from Spain, read the Universal Prayers in Spanish. The Justyn Tran family (Vietnamese) served as gift bearers: Justyn, Tur, Phillip, Paul and Peter. All dressed in red for Pentecost. Congolese Community Singers sang a second Communion hymn and the closing song.

“It was such a joy-filled Mass,” said Patti McTaggart, the parish’s youth minister. “The gifts of the Holy Spirit seemed to be everywhere. I felt blessed by everyone’s presence and sense of oneness in faith.”

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