“A violent clash of opulence and poverty is shaking the ground under our feet. Our duty as Christians is to throw ourselves between these two camps in order to accomplish by love what justice alone cannot do.”- Bl. Frédéric Ozanam
Living in a time of crisis and revolution, Frederic Ozanam was a man of peace who hoped to bring people together rather than sow the seeds of hatred and discord. It seems only fitting then that on the date when we honor him, September 9, that we dedicate that day to join in prayer for “Peace in our Communities.”
In light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited all dioceses across the country to unite in a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities. He has also appointed a special task force to support bishops in marking that Day of Prayer, and more broadly, in promoting peace and healing during this time of great strain on civil society.
The purpose of the Task Force is to help bishops engage the challenging problems directly, by various means: gathering and disseminating supportive resources and “best practices;” actively listening to the concerns of members in troubled communities and law enforcement; and building strong relationships to help prevent and resolve conflicts. The Task Force will conclude its work with a report on its activities and recommendations for future work to the November General Assembly.
Click on this link for more resources from the USCCB to help Catholics celebrate September 9, the Day of Prayer and Peace in our Communities.
WeAreSaltAndLight.org, a diversity and racial justice page, includes additional resources. To inspire your own efforts, below are some stories about how real Catholic communities are working for peace and racial justice:
- Improving police-community relations, working for racial and economic justice in Dallas
- Witnessing to faith and love in Ferguson
- Faith transforms violence and racism in West Baltimore
- Parish facilitates discussions that encounter (Minneapolis, Minn.)
- Reflecting on racism, affirming the dignity of all God’s children (Savannah, Ga.)
- Living the Eucharist through encounter, racial and economic justice (New Orleans, La.)
- Parish celebrates diversity, forms leaders of many ethnicities (Springfield, Ill.)
- Praying and acting to fight racism and division (Washington, D.C.)
- Social justice pilgrimages help students live call to faith, peace and justice (Romeoville, Ill.)
Source: August 2016 SVdP Frederic’s E-Gazette