A Statement of Purpose for the Prayer Chain against Racism and affirming the Equality and Dignity of Every Human Person – Sunday, June 28 2:00-4:00 PM
We Catholics of Collier county are standing by the roadside on June 28 in silent witness to the reality of racism in our country and, as people of faith, to witness to the equality and dignity of every human person. We pray that God will transform the hearts of all people in our nation, including our own hearts, to see every human person as a brother or sister of inestimable worth.
Racism arises when, either consciously or unconsciously, a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior and deems people of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard. Racism occurs because a person ignores the fundamental truth that, because all humans share a common origin, they are all brothers and sisters, all equally made in the image of God. If this truth is ignored, the consequence is prejudice and fear of the other, and at times even hatred. When this prejudicial conviction or attitude leads individuals or groups to exclude, ridicule, mistreat, or unjustly discriminate against others, it is sinful. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and it corrupts the souls of those who harbor racist or prejudicial thoughts. The cumulative effects of personal sins of racism have led to social structures of injustice and violence that makes us all accomplices in racism. (Catechism #1869) Racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. As Pope Francis has said to the people of the United States, “My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” (General audience, June 3, the Vatican)
Very often racism comes in the form of the sin of omission, when individuals, communities, and even churches remain silent and fail to act against racial injustice when it is encountered. We need a genuine conversion of heart, a conversion that will compel change, and the reform of our institutions and society. All of us need a personal, ongoing conversion. Our churches and our civic and social institutions need ongoing reform. We pray for the courage and resolve to confront racism by addressing its causes and the injustice it produces. We pray that with the grace of God, healing can occur.
We invite all people of good will to stand with us Sunday, June 28th from 2:00-4:00 PM on the west side of Tamiami Trail North (US 41) from Pine Ridge Rd. south. Please wear a mask and maintain appropriate social distance. This is a prayer event with no speakers or presentations, but for the awareness of others you may bring signs in good taste speaking to Gospel values and Church teaching against racism and in support of peace, justice and the equality and dignity of all human persons.