The festival of nations for the Catholic ethnic communities in the Archdiocese of Cape Town, scheduled for Sunday the 5 of May 2019, is a great celebration of different ethnic communities coming together to celebrate their faith of unity in diversity. The festival of nations is the place where the greatest possible number of Catholic foreign nationals, present in the City of Cape Town, can express their riches and their peculiarities, to present what makes each culture different from the other, each one unique in its kind.
It is an opportunity to enjoy diversity together as the community of faith and an opportunity to get to know each other and develop the sense of unity, appreciation and exchange attitudes, rather than mistrust and division.
The festival of nations is a place where you can feel brotherhood and sisterhood, people who are similar in their profession of faith, feelings, aspirations, in the desire to build a fraternal world.
The third edition of the festival of nations will take place at the Athlone Civic Centre Hall, this festival is organized by the Catholic chaplaincies and the missionaries of St Charles – Scalabrinian Fathers in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Cape Town and ethnic Catholic communities of the Archdiocese of Cape Town. The theme of the event is taken from the book of the prophet Jeremiah: “All the nations shall be gathered together, in the name of the Lord”. It will be indeed the gathering of different cultures in celebrating and speaking one language which will be that of the Faith.
The pivot of the festival of nations as the community of faith will be the celebration of the Eucharist at 1 pm in the Athlone community hall. The mass will be presided by Monsignor Stephen Brislin, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cape Town, with more than 10 priests as concelebrants. The mass will be animated by Ten ethnic communities of different nationalities: the “Kyrie and Glory” will be sung by the Francophone community, the procession of the Word of God by Malawian, the readings, Responsorial Psalm and the prayer of the faithful will be read in different languages, the offertory hymn is entrusted to the Zimbabwean community, the Sanctus and Lamb of God the Francophone community will sing, and the songs of Communion and after communion will be sung by the Nigerian community and Indian respectively. It will be the experience of the Pentecost where all the languages will encounter to speak one language of Love, Faith and Hope.
At the end of the Mass, in the hall, from about 2.30pm there will be the possibility to taste different traditional dishes prepared by some communities of different countries. It will be possible to taste Lasagne prepared by the Italian, a traditional Portuguese dish, Indian cuisine rich in rice, Chicken and Curry, Nigerian soups, and even Zimbabwean, Cameroonian, Congolese, Malawian and many other typical dishes. We believe that the fraternal encounter between different cultures passes also through the tasting of traditional dishes.
We the Scalabrinian Fathers as the initiators of this event, we are called to be close to migrants, refugees and seafarers, to help them in the integration process, and to offer an intelligent welcome aimed at understanding the reasons for their emigration from their countries of origin. The festival is scheduled to end by 5 pm.