PORTLAND – Reflecting the region’s rich tradition and diversity, eight different languages are now used during Masses in parishes across the Peninsula and Isle of Portland (Immaculate Conception Parish Cathedral, Portland; Sacred Heart/ St. Dominic Parish, Portland; St. Christopher Parish, Peaks Island; St. Louis Parish, Portland; St. Peter Parish, Portland).
The most recent came on Sunday, May 15, when Mass in Portuguese will be celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located at 307 Congress Street, at 4 p.m.
“In recent months we have seen a large influx of Angolan refugees and asylum seekers who speak Portuguese,” the father said. Seamus Griesbach, pastor of the Portland Peninsula and Island parishes.
Providing Masses and programming that celebrates and respects the traditions and heritage of parishioners has long been a focus of churches in Portland:
Mass in Spanish is offered every Sunday at 1 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church at 65 Mellen Street. The church is the home of Hispanic ministry in Greater Portland, serving people from 12 Spanish-speaking countries through a variety of events like Spanish Bible Study, Spanish Holy Hours, and special retreats.
Azande Masses for members of the Greater Portland Sudanese community are celebrated at St. Peter’s Church at 72 Federal Street every Sunday at 3 p.m. Mass is celebrated in Azande and Arabic.
Masses in English and French are celebrated at Sacred Heart Church on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. The tradition of French masses in Maine dates back to the early 17and century, the community growing with an influx of French Canadians into the area in the late 19and century.
Masses are offered in English and Polish at St. Louis Church, located at 279 Danforth Street, on Sundays at 11:30 a.m. Robert Będziński makes frequent visits to the church to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Polish. St. Louis is the only Polish parish in Maine. It was established in 1915 when over 250 Polish families lived in the immediate vicinity. The red brick church that still exists today was inaugurated in 1924.
Masses in Vietnamese are offered on certain Sundays throughout the year at the cathedral. Four of the current seminarians in the Diocese of Portland are Vietnamese: Hoa Nguyen, Thanh Pham, Vinh Nguyen and Lam Vo.
As mentioned above, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will hold a mass in Portuguese on Sunday, May 15 at 4 p.m. in the chapel. A social gathering will take place after Mass. The mass will be celebrated by Fr. John Mazzei, who was ordained a priest in 1992 in Paróquia Santo Inacio from Loyola from Lajeado, part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Cruz do Sol in Brazil, where Portuguese is the national language of Brazil. Prof. Mazzei began serving in the Diocese of Portland in 2008.
A Latin mass is offered in the chapel of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception every Sunday at noon. The mass is in a simple form of the “Missa Cantata” (sung mass) with all the prayers and hymns in Latin. The Latin Mass Chaplaincy of Saint Gregory the Great in the Diocese of Portland serves those who wish to use the 1962 missal as provided by the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI Sommerum Pontificum.
Masses in English are offered each weekday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 12:15 p.m. and at St. Peter’s Church at 7 a.m.; Saturdays at the Cathedral at 4 p.m. and Saint-Pierre at 5:15 p.m.; and on Sundays at the Cathedral (8 a.m. and 10 a.m. (also broadcast live), Saint-Pierre (9 a.m.), Saint-Louis (11:30 a.m.), Saint-Christophe (8:30 a.m.) and Sacré-Coeur (10:30 a.m.).
For more information on offerings from parishes on the Portland Peninsula and the Island, call (207) 773-7746 or visit www.portlandcatholic.org.