WASHINGTON—Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, called on Catholics and all people of faith to observe an annual Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on September 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; we must begin and end this effort in prayer
together, even as we seek to act in concrete ways," Bishop Murry continued.
"To help dioceses, parishes and other places of worship, communities, and
families observe this National Day of Prayer, the Ad Hoc Committee Against
Racism and USCCB staff offer pastoral and prayer resources which can be found
The Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism
was formed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops, after the recent shocking events in
Charlottesville, Virginia. Bishop Murry was appointed as the Ad Hoc
Committee's first chairman. The Committee will focus on addressing the
sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church, as well as the urgent
need to come together to find solutions.
"Last year, Archbishop Joseph
Kurtz, then-President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for a
day of prayer for peace in our communities at a time of intense strife over
police-related shootings," said Bishop Murry. "Archbishop Kurtz also
formed a Task Force that, among other things, recommended that the National Day
of Prayer become an annual observance. As the Chairman of the
newly-formed Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, it is my honor to continue this
call for prayer, and to do so every year on this feast."
St. Peter Claver (1580-1654) was a
Spanish-born Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to ministering to people
enslaved by the African slave trade. He worked tirelessly to improve the
lives of those he served, and heroically sought an abolition of the slave