TWO EVENTS MARK FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF RACISM PASTORAL
Symposium Gives Historical Perspective, Mass To Honor Workers for Racial Justice
CHICAGO (March 23, 2006) – Two events, a symposium at Catholic Theological Union, 5401 S. Cornell St., Chicago, on Friday, March 31, and a special Mass on Sunday, April 2, at Holy Family Church, 1019 S. May St., Chicago, will mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of Francis Cardinal George’s pastoral letter, Dwell In My Love. Published in April 2001, the document challenges Catholics to understand institutional racism and work to eliminate it.
The symposium, from 3 to 5 p.m. on March 31, will include a panel of presenters who will address the sin of racism from an historical perspective, in the current context of being Black and Catholic, and with a focus on the future, highlighting current immigration issues.
Fr. Martin Zielinski, Ph.D., associate professor of Church History at the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, will speak on “Setting the Historical Context: The American Catholic Church’s Struggle with the Sin of Racism.” Sr. Jamie Phelps, O.P., Ph.D., professor of Systemic Theology and director of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of New Orleans, will speak on “Black and Catholic: A Faith Response to Racism.” Fr. Claudio Diaz, pastor of Providence of God Parish on the city’s west side and Director of the Archdiocese’s Office for Hispanic Catholics, will speak on “Immigration: The New Face of Racism in the United States.”
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I, Archbishop of Chicago, will offer closing reflections on his pastoral letter.
TWO EVENTS MARK FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF RACISM PASTORAL -2
Two St. Katharine Drexel Racial Justice Awards, one to an individual and one to a group of parishes, will be given during a special 5 th Anniversary Mass celebrated by Cardinal George at 5 p.m. at Holy Family Church.
Rev. Mr. George W. Brooks, a permanent deacon at Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Flossmoor, will receive his award for his work as Director of Advocacy for Kolbe House, the Archdiocese’s prison and jail ministry. Deacon Brooks has published articles and given workshops on the death penalty, criminal justice and restorative and racial justice topics.
For their outstanding dedication to fostering the Workshops on Racism and Ethnic Sensitivity, five parishes will be recognized. They are Holy Family on Chicago’s west side, Holy Angels on the south side, St. Mary of the Woods and Queen of All Saints Basilica in northern Cook County, and St. Raymond De Penafort in Mt. Prospect. After experiencing Phase One of the workshops, these honorees participated in the Phase Two training sessions and now present Workshops on Racism and Ethnic Sensitivity to other parish members. They also plan other events within their parishes that raise awareness of the need to eliminate racism. The Archdiocese began offering workshops in 1997 in three phases to parishes in order to educate and train Catholics to identify institutional racism.
The St. Katharine Drexel Racial Justice Awards are named for the American nun whose ministry of service to Native Americans and African-Americans were cause for her canonization in 2000.