MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Sunday marked the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a holiday observed in Catholic churches across the globe.
Pope Francis issued a message saying "It’s not just about migrants, but about all of us." At the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, the church hosted its mass of solidarity in honor of the anniversary.
The ceremony on the steps of the Basilica wasn’t your usual Sunday mass.
"We celebrate the same faith, but in our own customs, and with our own music," explained Johan Van Parys of Basilica of Saint Mary. "And so what is rich today is that we bring all of these together to hear and to experience how diverse we are as Catholics.”
"We started as a community of immigrants from Italy and Ireland," added Van Parys. "But today, we have immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Central America. So we're sort of celebrating who we are in a much bigger way."
Dancers perform on the steps of the Churchgoers take part in Sunday's special event at the Basilica.
From Aztec dancers on the plaza to a young group of African dancers inside, the day was about showcasing the multitude of cultures within the church and promoting inclusivity for all.
"So this represents the Catholic church, the universal part," said Maya Ignabode of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. "This is what it is today. To see different colors, different cultures represented."
It’s a message Maya Ignabode learned at an early age. And it’s something she’s carried with her to St. Alphonsus.
"When I was a kid back in Africa, I was introduced to the church by dancing, and I was around 4 or 5," she explained. "And then, from there, I was introduced to different ministries, and I bring that culture along with me."