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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Italian mass in London, a reversal of my usual Sunday pattern!

Last Sunday 19 November was an unusual complete reversal of contexts for me. Normally I would be in a continental European parish, celebrating the eucharist for an English-language congregation. On Sunday, however, I was invited to preside in Italian for the Italian community which worships at St Peter's Church in Acton Green, London.

The invitation originated from one of our own priests Fr Giovanni La Rosa from Randazzo Sicily, who is a friend of the Associate Vicar at St Peter's, Fr Fabrizio Pesce. Fr Giovanni was the preacher for the Italian mass.

Fr Giovanni preaching
Fr Fabrizio hails from Puglia and has served as a missionary in Argentina. He moved to London in 2010 and after his reception into the Church of England has been serving this west London parish.

The Italian language service is relatively new. It is not a proselytising ministry at all, but in the best of the Anglican parochial tradition simply aims to live the truth that God welcomes everyone in his community without excluding anyone. The Italian community at St Peter's thus aims to be a place of faith where all can feel at home.

Fr Fabrizio has a clear theological focus in this outreach ministry: "In the Spirit of Pentecost, the diversity of languages, cultures, and ethnicities is not an obstacle, but rather an opportunity to meet, share life and grow together, creating bonds of family, friendship, faith, and essentially communion". It was a privilege to be part of this fairly new project at St Peter's.

Fr Fabrizio
Fr Fabrizio's senior associate as Vicar is actually Fr Kevin Morris, who has overall responsibility for St Peter's as well as nearby St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park. Fr Kevin is 2nd from right below.

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