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The vitality of 90 year-old! This year our parish in Greensboro, NC is celebrating its 90th birthday. And they did so in “a right digital way”.

Among their many celebrations, they unveiled a new website. Amazingly, I discovered the site via the Ingernet in Italy when looking for background material on a creative collaboration project of our confreres in a shopping mall in Turin, Italy. But that is another story to stay tuned for.

This story is about a parish with a historic 90-year ministry to diverse and constantly changing populations. Today St. Mary’s boasts more than 2,000 members from nearly every continent on Earth. The anniversary celebration Sept. 23 reflected that diversity, with the Mass being celebrated in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The diversity of the historically black parish St. Mary’s is not a recent phenomenon. Immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America moved to the Greensboro area. The parish now has experienced influxes of immigrants from Nigeria and other African countries, as well as Vietnamese, Montagnard and Hmong newcomers.

Clicking through the three beautiful graphics on the home page gives an almost instant sense of the diversity of this faith community.

The growth and the mixing of long-time black parishioners and immigrant newcomers – many of whom struggle with learning English and navigating American culture – has not always been easy. And now it is the pastor, Fr. William Allegretto, CM, who has the struggle to cope with the many languages and cultures. But he explained to his people, “The language I will speak is that of our Lord – a language of the heart, kindness, concern, care, and mercy.”

The Parish Events Calendar also reveals the diversity with its listings of parish activities for the many language groups.

The content on the entrance page is clear, to the point and changing. See for yourself.

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