Our Diocese of Parramatta is home to a wealth of cultural richness, and one parish that celebrates its diverse cultural communities is Our Lady of the Angels, Rouse Hill. Every third Sunday of the month, a Mass is celebrated in Mandarin by Fr Carlos Walker, IVE. This initiative, which began in June 2021, was part of the parish’s response to the increasing desire of Chinese immigrants to build community and to learn more about Catholicism.
For Tan La, a parishioner at Rouse Hill, being able to attend Mass which is celebrated in his native language is particularly meaningful. “I come to Mass to strengthen my faith and be closer to God through His Son, Jesus Christ”, Tan says. “I also love to be part of and to be able to serve our community.”
Tan says his celebration of Christmas is different now to how it was growing up in Chinese culture. “I grew up celebrating Christmas around family and friends, and food and gifts were the main part”, he says. “Mass and celebrating the birth of Jesus now takes the centre stage of our Christmas celebrations.”
The opportunity to attend a Mandarin Mass each month, and especially approaching Christmas, has shaped Tan’s outlook. “Coming to the Chinese Masses have made a difference to how I view life”, he says. “They show me there is still a lot to learn, to offer, and to share with anyone open to the word of God.” Tan is hopeful that in future years there will be a special Christmas celebration for the Mandarin community. “I usually go to Midnight Mass”, he says, “but I hope one day we will be able to celebrate Christmas Mass in Mandarin at Our Lady of the Angels.”
The next Mandarin Mass at Our Lady of the Angels, Rouse Hill will be celebrated on Sunday, 19 December at 3pm. It will be followed by Chinese tea.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
For more information, call Our Lady of the Angels Parish on (02) 8883 4063, or download the flyer below.