Published October 4, 2011
I set out for the inaugural Mass of the Pan African Catholic Organization of the Atlanta last weekend.
Wandering around before the service began, I found a choir of women, wearing colorful clothes, practicing for the upcoming Mass. You can hear the choir below.
Here’s my lede for the story:
Worshippers recited prayers in five languages as they praised God African-style.
Crowds filled the pews at Stone Mountain’s Corpus Christi Church, with many wearing vibrant African clothes and women in elaborate headdresses.
At the start of Mass, five women danced down the center aisle of Corpus Christi Church to the drum beat of African rhythms, as one carried the book with the day’s Bible readings on her back.
Choirs from the communities of Cameroon, Gambian, Nigeria raised their voices to lead the faithful in song.
The Pan African Catholic Organization of Atlanta in the archdiocese held its inaugural Mass on Saturday, Oct. 1, bringing together nine different immigrant nationalities and ethnic groups.
Some details about the African Catholic community came from a survey done four years ago:
A 2007 survey for the Office of Black Catholic Ministry estimated in the archdiocese there are more than 22,000 black Catholics.
And in the survey, about one in three respondents identified themselves as African. The largest number of people born in Africa came from Nigeria, followed by Eritrea and Ivory Coast. (Cote d’Ivoire).