June 2, 2006

St. Rita Parish invites public to
interfaith pre-Pentecost service

By Mary Ann Wyand

The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis and St. Rita Parish in Indianapolis will host a bilingual and interfaith pre-Pentecost worship service and fellowship hour on June 2 that is open to the public.

Divine Word Father Stephan Brown, pastor of the Indianapolis East Deanery parish at 1733 Dr. Andrew J. Brown Ave., hopes people from many parishes and faith traditions will pray together at 7 p.m. on Friday.

The prayer service is coordinated by the Hispanic-Latino and African-American pastors of the federation’s Hispanic-Latin Forum.

Father Stephan said the prayer service marks the first time that these groups have gathered to celebrate the birth of the Church on Pentecost.

“At Pentecost, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles,” he said. “From that moment, the word of God is proclaimed to all the world—the powerful message of the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ.

“The service is intended to bring together the African-American and Hispanic communities,” he said. “We need to bring people together and build bridges in order for there to be a change in our community in perceptions and relationships. When people do not know each other and do not understand languages and cultures, the first things they see are the differences.”

Father Stephan will preside during the interfaith celebration that will bring together Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans and people of other denominations in prayer. He expects members of at least 25 congregations to attend the pre-Pentecost service.

Rev. Marvin Calderon, assistant pastor at the Eastern Star Baptist Church in Indianapolis, will preach and several Church choirs will sing during the service.

“We want everyone to come,” Father Stephan said. “It’s important to see that people of different languages and cultures can come together.” †


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