“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his stirring “I Have a Dream Speech” in 1963, he did so with a grand vision for peace and justice in the world. He would likely be proud to see this vision being carried on today in many ways, including by the Archdiocese of Denver’s Office of Black Catholic ministry.
The 11th Annual Peace and Justice Mass sponsored by the Office of Black Catholic Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Jorgé Rodriguez on Monday, Jan. 16 at 9 a.m. at Curé d’Ars Parish in Denver. Each year, the Mass is held on the federal holiday observing of the birthdate of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. in recognition of his Christian values and nonviolent resistance against racial discrimination. All are invited to attend.
“I am always encouraged when Catholics of other races and ethnicities join Black Catholics for this Eucharist celebration,” said Kateri Williams, director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry. “The myriad of faces in the pews illustrate a beautiful reflection of the world that Dr. King envisioned and the vision of what God expects of us as brothers and sisters in Christ, all made in the image and likeness of God.”
This annual event is just one of many that Williams and the Office of Black Catholic Ministry sponsors each year, and their efforts to educate and evangelize are continually growing.
Last June, in partnership with the Archdiocesan Committee for Racial Equality and Justice, Williams helped to host an “Acknowledging the Sin of Racism” webinar that was very well-received and proved to be a powerful and poignant discussion.
Then, in November, the office held a day of reflection for Black Catholic History Month, during which participants listened to God’s voice in prayer, entered into community with each other, and identified action items and pastoral concerns to report to the National Black Catholic Congress, which is preparing to host a national Congress next summer.
As we honor Martin Luther King Jr. this coming Monday, may we, too, echo these words of prayer from him, so that this vision of peace and justice may be made manifest in our world: “Oh God… help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all of God’s children — Black, White, Red, and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.”