The Catholic social teaching of solidarity reminds us of our Gospel call to be peacemakers.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that if you want peace, work for justice. The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.”
The National Day of Service commemorating one of our nation’s most prolific peacemakers, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be celebrated Jan. 17. While it can be tempting to treat this as any other “long weekend,” the Milwaukee Catholic Mamas were asked what they would be doing to celebrate his legacy.
There are several opportunities for families to pray, learn and serve throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Archdiocesan Prayer Service at St. Francis of Assisi, Milwaukee
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 31st Annual Prayer Service (The American Dream) will be held Jan. 15 at St. Francis of Assisi in Milwaukee. A musical prelude begins at 1:30 p.m., and the prayer service, led by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, starts at 2 p.m. The keynote speaker is Makda Fessahaye, J.D., and the event will be live-streamed via Facebook and YouTube for people who cannot attend in person — helpful for those with children who still nap.
Register by contacting Fr. Michael Bertram, O.F.M. Cap., at Stfrancismil@gmail.com or 414-374-5750, or Fessahaye Mebrahtu at Mebrahtuf@archmil.org or 414-526-0385.
Black Lives are Sacred MKE
Their 71st public witness in support of racial justice and the dignity of the human person takes place at the statue of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. just north of the intersection of MLK Drive and Walnut Street, on the east (right) side of the street, from 10 to 11 a.m. Everyone is asked to observe appropriate social distancing. Bringing a chair is encouraged if you cannot stand for an hour.
St. Eugene, Fox Point
The Education on Racism committee asks you to consider participating in a day of service to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Then, join the committee for a prayer service at 7 p.m. in the church. The service will include “Stations of the Cross: Overcoming Racism.”
The shift from observance to a day of service occurred in 1994, a fitting tribute to the man who said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Three Holy Women, Milwaukee
Jan. 15, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Individuals 16 years old and older are invited to participate in the Family of Four Parishes’ next Habitat for Humanity Build Day. The community will build a house in the Harambee Neighborhood that will soon become a home. Email Tim Logman, Habitat Parishioner Coordinator for the Family of Four Parishes, at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
St. Eugene, Fox Point
Jan. 15, 9 to 10 a.m.
The monthly Sandwich Saturday will take place in the lower level of Mackin Hall. Bring bread, lunch meat and cheese slices to make the sandwiches. If you cannot participate in sandwich-making, the group will continue to accept donations of sandwich-making supplies and all non-perishable food items to benefit Hope House.
Bay View Community Center, Milwaukee
Jan. 17, 10 a.m. to noon
The center will collect cleaning supplies for the Emergency Food Pantry, learn about bubble science, and share the message of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Families can either participate in person or pick up a kit ahead of time to participate at a distance.
Kids Impact Community (virtual opportunity)
Jan. 17, 4 to 5 p.m., virtual project introduction and kickoff (Zoom)
Kids Impact Community will offer a kid-led celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day through a virtual event and corresponding service project. With your support, your children will engage neighbors, friends and family to pack a Fostering Hope duffel bag for kids in foster care, including items such as a book, a toy, new pajamas and a lot of love. Participants can collect donations from Jan. 17-29 and drop off on Jan. 30. This project is an excellent opportunity for kids to learn they can make a real difference in our community while spreading Dr. King’s message of equity and love. Duffle bags are provided. Contact email@example.com to participate.
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” From Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham jail.
Dr. King’s work is inexorably tied to the civil rights movement. As people of faith, we are called to see Christ in our brothers and sisters, which includes seeing their unique experiences — including the ways the scourage of racism has harmed them.
Visit the online resource “Open Wide Our Hearts,” based on the USCCB’s 2018 pastoral letter on racism, at https://www.openwideourheartsgb.org.
This website, which started as an in-person exhibit, features photos of Catholics from various racial and ethnic backgrounds alongside written narratives that document what life in the Church of the Diocese of Green Bay has been like for them as a person of color. The website invites you to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to be present with you, noting that, “Issues of race, diversity, discrimination and inclusion are emotionally charged, and listening to others’ experiences can be challenging to our own ways of understanding the world.”