An annual Mass, celebrating all ethnic communities across the Philadelphia-area, was held in Center City today.
The Philadelphia Cultural Heritage Mass, now in its 16th year, was held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul located at 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
About 20 countries participated in the procession, carrying banners and wearing ethnic clothing to celebrate the rich history and diversity of members of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, was the celebrant and homilist.
In addition to a large procession honoring ethnic diversity, seven choirs provided music throughout the Mass. Scripture readings and prayers were spoken in five different languages including Swahili, Vietnamese, and Indonesian. Organizers say participants include many Catholic immigrants who call the Philadelphia-region home.
On Wednesday, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio – named Pope Francis - was elected pope, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
There are more than 1.4 million Catholics living in the Philadelphia-area.