Catholic feast day draws hundreds to Chanel College

COMMUNITY: Father Aliki Langi says his parish is multicultural and is based on recognition of our commonality.
COMMUNITY: Father Aliki Langi says his parish is multicultural and is based on recognition of our commonality. Julia Bartrim

HUNDREDS of Catholic worshippers gathered at Chanel College, Gladstone yesterday to celebrate the feast day of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, one of the titles given to the Virgin Mary.

Father Aliki Langi, who conducted mass to start the day, said the feast day was an opportunity to come together as a community.

"We are all her children,” he said referring to the Virgin Mary.

"We have to respect one another and our differences. We are all one human race.”

For nine days prior to the feast day, Fr Aliki said the congregation had prayed the Novena Prayer.

After the mass, the congregation headed for the school's cafeteria for the less formal part of the day, which involved dancing and singing.

Gooreng Gooreng elder Richard Johnson was invited to perform a welcome to country on behalf of Australia's indigenous people.

He said this was the first time the parish had invited him to perform the traditional ceremony.

"It was nice recognition from the parish ... a step in the right direction,” he said.

Tess Carson, accompanied by other members of the Filipino community, attended the feast day dressed in brilliantly coloured, sequinned kimonas, which is traditional Filipino attire.

She was looking forward to the singing and dancing.

"The main aim of the parish is to celebrate all the different cultures,” she said.

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