Catholic Charities to continue 60th anniversary celebration with Mass 

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Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville is continuing its year-long celebration of its 60th anniversary with a special Mass at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at Sagrado Corazon Church at the Catholic Pastoral Center.

The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop J. Mark Spalding, and also have several concelebrants including Father John Hammond, pastor of St. Patrick Church in South Nashville and Judicial Vicar and Vicar General for the Diocese of Nashville; and Father Theophilus Ebulueme, pastor of Holy Name Church and Catholic Charities board member. Deacon Bill Hill of Holy Family Church in Brentwood, who is also a member of the Catholic Charities board, will also be part of the Mass celebration. 

Having a celebratory Mass has been a tradition in years past whenever Catholic Charities has met a milestone anniversary such as its 40th and 50th anniversary years, said Judy Orr, Catholic Charities executive director. 

El Festival de Esperanza, which kicked off the anniversary celebrations in April, “was not a one-time event. It was just the start,” Orr said, noting the official charter anniversary is July 17. “We will celebrate our anniversary all year long up until next June.”

And like El Festival, the Mass will also celebrate Catholic Charities’ roots as it pays tribute to its first program, Operation Pedro Pan, which involved the temporary resettlement of Cuban children during political turmoil in 1962.

Therefore, several portions of the Mass will be in Spanish including the second reading and as well as all the sacred music. The music will be led by Ana M. Zarraga, pastoral associate at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Franklin, along with several other singers, and they will be accompanied by John Angotti, director of music at St. Philip.

The Mass will be followed by a reception in the narthex of Sagrado, and will include Cuban-themed cake, cookies and punch provided by the Clean Plate Club.

“With this mass, we celebrate Catholic Charities 60 years of welcoming and loving all people, just as Jesus did,” said Cindy Tipler, Catholic Charities executive projects manager. “We want this to be a welcoming Mass to everyone” including all former clients of Catholic Charities, community volunteers and former staff.

For more information, email Betsy Everett, Catholic Charities development associate, at

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