|‘Jumping for Jesus’ at Labour Day parade - Oct 4|
|2009 - Caribbean Church News|
|Friday, 02 October 2009 11:27|
Bishop Vincent Darius has urged more than 2000 West Indian-born Catholics in New York to continue making their presence felt at the annual Labour Day Parade in Brooklyn.
“Proclaim the message of Christ… We have a mandate to preach the Good News,” said the bishop of St George’s, Grenada. “There is an urgency in our society. It is as if we are living in a culture of death. We must not be afraid to stand up for the Gospel… The best form of witnessing by Christ is not by words but by our actions… I do not think for one moment that your presence at the parade will go unnoticed” Bishop Darius said as he delivered the homily at an August 31 Mass at St Matthew’s Church. The Mass was celebrated before the Diocese of Brooklyn participated in the 42nd annual West Indian American Day Parade and Carnival on Labour Day.
“People will see, they will admire you. Let’s be witnesses for Christ’s love. Let your conduct speak for itself. The lookers-on will appreciate what you are doing. It’s time we become more proactive in the proclamation of the Good News.”
As Mass ended and people spilled out onto the sidewalks of the church before joining the parade, Dave Ali, assistant director of the Catholic Migration and Refugee Office, recalled how the diocese’s presence in the parade has grown by thousands since Fidelis Care, the health plan conducted by the New York bishops, began sponsoring a float four years ago. That first year, 60 people walked alongside the float. Last year, the number grew to approximately 3,400.
While the theme for this year’s festivities was “Jump for the Cure, Jump Up and be Counted” - the result of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s joint partnership with the American Cancer Society and the US Census Bureau - some in the diocesan crowd played on the parade’s theme with signs of their own that proclaimed “I Jump for Jesus” and “Jesus Is Worth Jumping For.” The diocese also sponsored its own theme, “The Mystical Body of Christ Shining Like Islands in the Sun.”
Volunteers also passed out colorful hand fans advertising Fidelis Care and the Catholic Migration Office, as well as the Catholic National Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Justice for Immigrants.
- edited from a report by Stefanie Gutierrez for The Tablet, weekly newspaper of the Brooklyn diocese
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