WASHINGTON — The second Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities will be observed Sept. 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver.
“St. Peter Claver is a model for us in understanding that hard work and perseverance is required to combat the sin of racism and build community,” said Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, in a Sept. 1 statement.
Like Bishop Murry, the Spanish-born St. Peter Claver was a Jesuit. He dedicated his life to ministering to people enslaved by the African slave trade, working to improve their lives and seeking to abolish the slave trade.
“We must begin and end this effort in prayer together, even as we seek to act in concrete ways,” Bishop Murry said.
Resources, available at www.usccb.org/racism, include a prayer card, prayers of the faithful, stories of how faith communities in the United States are working for racial justice, teaching resources and bishops’ statements.
The ad hoc committee was formed by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston in the wake of the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its deadly aftermath, and named Bishop Murry its chair. A bishops’ task force on racism that met last year recommended the annual observance of a national day of prayer.
The committee’s charge is to address the sin of racism in society and the church, as well as the urgent need to come together to find solutions.