By Tim Harfmann
The diocesan Migration Day Mass was a joyous display of Christian unity for families with roots all over the world.
“Even though we come from different places, we still worship one God,” said Ifeyinwa Ezissi, a parishioner at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Queens.
For the December 7 service, Ezissi and her kids dressed in the traditional garb of her homeland – Nigeria.
She remembered arriving to the U.S. 10 years ago and what happened the next day at her Queens church.
“I came on a Saturday and my first outing was on a Sunday to go to Church, and oh my god, all of them already knew my name.”
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio presided at the migration liturgy, offered at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph. He pointed out that Christ Himself was a migrant.
“We recognize that migration is part in parcel of our history as Christians, and many Christians for many reasons migrate,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
Catholic Migration Services organized this special service. They are hard at work year-round, supporting the diversity of the diocese.
“You really see the universality of the Church and the universality of our diocese, which is really the Diocese of Immigrants,” said Father Patrick Keating, the CEO of Catholic Migration Services.
Driving that point home, prayers during the liturgy were spoken in more than a dozen languages.
For the hundreds of Catholics at the Mass, the overwhelming sentiment was gratitude: thankful for being together as one Church.