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Mandela Remembered At Special Mass At St. Sabina

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela (File photo credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/AFP/Getty Images)

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela (File photo credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — People across the Chicago area are gathering at churches to say prayers of remembrance for former South African president and global human-rights icon and the services at a South Side church took on special meaning Sunday.

While many at Sunday services are remembering Nelson Mandela from a distance, Pastor Thulani Magwaza experienced first-hand the injustices of Apartheid as he was growing up in Durban, South Africa.

He is now a pastor at St. Sabina Catholic Church on the South Side and after delivering an impassioned sermon, Magwaza reflected on the mark that Mandela has left across the world.

“This is a 95-year-old man celebrated by two-year-olds, three-year-olds, five year-olds, they all come together. If you are to ask any South African child right now and say ‘Who is Mandela?’ They will tell you because of the significance that he has been not only to South Africa but to the world,” said Magwaza.

Magwaza gave the first of two sermons at St. Sabina with Fr. Michael Pfleger delivering the second.