Houston-area Catholics Pray for Peace in Our Communities (1)

September 8, 2016

For immediate release

WHAT: Houston-area Catholics Pray for Peace in Our Communities
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, 12:10 p.m., Mass for Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities, 7 p.m., Prayer Service for Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities 
WHERE: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston
CONTACT: Catherine Rogan, Media Relations Manager, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
713-652-8213 (office) or 713-515-6054 (cell), crogan@archgh.org

Houston – For Catholics across the country, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, is a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will honor the day with a Mass at 12:10 p.m. and a Prayer Service at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. Both services will be held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway in downtown Houston. The Office for Vicar for Catholics of African Descent is coordinating the Mass and Prayer Service, in conjunction with the Archdiocese.

On July 21, 2016 Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) invited the bishops of all Catholic dioceses across the country to participate in the Day of Prayer for Peace. That same day, the Archbishop appointed a special task force to support bishops in promoting peace and healing during this time of great strain on civil society.

Archbishop Kurtz made these announcements in light of incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States, and as a direct response to racially-related shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas. The Archbishop said that the Catholic Church needs to look at ways it can walk with and help these suffering communities.

“We have been blessed here within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston not to have experienced the horror and tragedy of other major cities in our nation” said Deacon Leonard Lockett, the Archdiocesan Vicar for Catholics of African Descent, “however they are real and serious structural issues of racism that affect people here in our community.” 

“The issue of race and the reality of racism can no longer be a topic discussed only in an academic setting or among like parties. We can no longer wait,” he continued. “We have to begin an open and honest dialogue about race and racism in our nation, warts and all.”

“We must also begin to live, teach and preach the Gospel of Social Justice,” said Deacon Lockett. “It is no longer just enough to donate to a clothing or food drive; we have to be a people with a cause. It is imperative that our clergy truly understand the significance of their role to advance the dialogue through challenging and inspiring preaching and active advocacy.” 

Archbishop Kurtz said, “By stepping forward to embrace the suffering, through unified, concrete action animated by the love of Christ, we hope to nurture peace and build bridges of communication and mutual aid in our own communities."

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.6 million Catholics in 10 counties.
It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 5th largest in the United States.