On Sunday, 8 June almost 800 members of Rotherham Deanery came together to celebrate the feast of Pentecost at St Bernard’s Catholic High School.
The event began with African drumming and a procession led by primary school children from local schools carrying their school banners and waving streamers. The six schools of the learning community had produced an altar cloth for the occasion.
Fr Desmond Sexton celebrated the Mass with Monsignor John Ryan, Fr Evangelist Ohaejesi, Fr Leonard May and Fr Geoff Hurst.
The readings were read in French and Tagalog and the Gospel was read by Fr Evangelist in Igbo, a Nigerian language.
After a short sermon by Fr Desmond, local lad Dr Anthony Towey, now based at St Mary’s, Twickenham, was introduced and spoke about the power and blessings of the Holy Spirit.
The Offertory gifts were escorted by Irish dancers from St Bedes Catholic Primary School and representatives from each parish presented their covenants with the poor.
Following Mass everyone was invited to stay and enjoy a shared meal with foods from many different cultures.
This was the third joint celebration of Pentecost in the Rotherham Deanery and the Mass has become an extremely popular and moving illustration of diversity and harmony in the local community.