Published August 7, 2008
The Mass, where Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will serve as the principal celebrant and homilist, has been planned by representatives of the organized immigrant Catholic communities from Haiti, French-speaking African countries, and the African-American, Gambian and Nigerian Catholic communities. The Office for Black Catholic Ministry serves all of these communities, which are growing in North Georgia.
The joy caused by the June ordinations of eight men to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta prompted this celebration, according to Charles Prejean, director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministry. It is also an opportunity to build up the collaboration among these organized Catholic communities of newly arrived people from other parts of the world.
“We thank our all-caring God for His gift of priesthood and for the life-giving blessings of Christ these eight young men bring to us to enable our earthly journey. We pray that our heavenly Father will bless them generously now, as they begin their ministry and throughout their priestly ministry,” said Prejean.
“It is with sincerity that we extend an invitation to all to join us in this prayer of thanksgiving and expression of support for Father Atem and Father Exumé,” he said. “We are hopeful that this public celebration of the call to the priestly vocation will encourage others to discern God’s call to them to serve Him in the ordained ministry and religious and lay life.”
A reception will follow the Mass in Price Hall and will feature samplings of cuisines from a number of African countries, from Haiti, and from the creative and not so dissimilar cuisines of the African-American community. All are cordially invited.
“The occasion presents an excellent opportunity to make new acquaintances and to experience God’s presence in each other,” Prejean said.
Sts. Peter and Paul Church is located at 2560 Tilson Road, Decatur. The phone number is (404) 241-5862. The Office for Black Catholic Ministry can be reached at (404) 888-7848.