During Black History Month, we honor African-American leaders within the American Catholic Church
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The organization “Stop AAPI Hate” (https://stopaapihate.org) has documented an increase in anti-Asian attacks since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. The violence coexists with national leaders who call the virus, “Kung Flu” or “The China Virus.”
Just this week: [2021-03-18]
- 75 year old woman punched in face by man, who was suspected of another attack the same day (the woman beat her attacker with a stick and sent him to the hospital on a stretcher).
- Eight people were murdered in a shooting rampage in Atlanta. Most of the victims were Asian.
This racism and xenophobia is wrong and goes against who we are as Christians. Targeting older victims is cowardly.
As Catholics in a universal Church, we all stand together for the dignity of all people of all ethnicities and nationalities. We strongly and unambiguously denounce all mistreatment and violence against Asians and Asian-Americans. We are our neighbors, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Prayer Against Anti-Asian Violence: For the Protection of (All) Our Elders — Erina Kim-Eubanks
God of our elders, Creator of sacred bodies,
we are outraged and we are scared.
We pray for the streets we inhabit
to be exorcised of white supremacy and violence,
for your shalom and togetherness to dwell-
filling our Chinatowns and driveways with
the safety of home, the spirit of family.
We pray for your protection upon our elders-
that our popos and bà ngoại, lolos and Bpòo,
halmonis and niam pog would all encounter space
to live, move, and have being-
knowing that they are not forgotten,
their bodies are not expendable.
We pray for protection upon them-
for hands that have folded dumplings and braided our hair
feet that have walked on many different shores
eyes that have witnessed both atrocities and new birth,
ears that have heard slurs in foreign tongues,
backs that carried the generations,
and hearts that are both resilient and fragile
in a moment when their existence has become a target.
And as we pray for their protection,
guard us too from division and othering
that places blame on “those people” –
driving wedges between communities,
mistaking criminalization for accountability,
multiplying harm instead of healing it.
Give us a vision of the world in which all our elders are honored,
because we see each other’s families as our own.
Read the USCCB Pastoral Letter on Racism: Open Wide Our Hearts.
Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, a Pastoral Letter Against Racism
An Introduction … On November 14, 2018, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved its most recent statement against racism. It calls for “a genuine conversion of the heart…that will compel change.” It understands that “when we start to see some people as “them”…we fail to love.” We are challenged “to walk humbly with God,” “opening doorways where once only walls stood.” Walls in our hearts, our communities, our Church.
Also see: http://usccb.org/racism
Related Materials & Resources: links to learn more about the Church’s official positions.
Also, see stfrancisa2.com/immigration/
See our Racial Justice Archives
Contacts: Scott Wright & Michelle Eiden, Subcommittee on Racial Justice, Life, Peace and Justice Committee at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Ann Arbor.