A day to remember MLK’s ‘dream’

January 10, 2012

HOUSTON — The Archdiocese will honor the civil rights leader with its annual Mass of Remembrance at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston. The Mass of Remembrance, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m., will give Catholics an opportunity to celebrate King's life and works.

In anticipation of celebration, the Texas Catholic Herald asked several prominent people around the Archdiocese about King's impact on the Catholic Church and how individuals can follow his example.

"As Dr. King stood so strongly for justice and the recognition of all God's people, African-American Catholics identified with his words and actions. As the Catholic Church in the United States, we still have to recognize the continued effects of racism and discrimination in our culture and stand up for fairness and respect for every human person. The Second Vatican Council said this clearly and forcefully in Gaudium et Spes # 27: ‘everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as another self, bearing in mind above all his life and the means necessary for living it in a dignified way.' " — FATHER BRENDAN CAHILL, homilist for this year's Mass of Remebrance

"The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have celebrated his 83rd birthday on Jan. 15, 2012 and April 4, 2012 will mark the 44th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis, Tenn. I believe not enough time has elapsed in history to truly evaluate Dr. King's impact within our American society. While it is true African Americans have made some strides in living out the American promise, however as a race of people, we still have a way to go to fully achieve Dr. King's ‘Dream.' 

Many in our society (and history to a certain degree) view Dr. King through the lens of that of a civil right leader for Black Americans. However, Dr. King was not only a ‘civil rights' leader for Black Americans but a ‘human rights' leader for the masses of humankind. Dr. King fought to amend the rights of the afflicted, conflicted and inflicted of society regardless of one's race, creed or color." — DEACON LEONARD LOCKETT, Vicar for Catholics of African Descent

"Overwhelmingly, Martin Luther King Jr. epitomized aspects of Catholic social teaching through his reponse to God's call for justice and equality for all. His life inspired me to believe in myself, stand up for what is right, to be patient in the face of ignorance, and to hold on to the dream that we pray will be a worldwide reality to choose compassion over hate." — BRIAN K. JOHNSON, Archdiocesan Director of Youth Ministry

"The Black Catholic community is happy to honor Martin Luther King Jr., for his contributions to humanity. His legacy brought to light the principles of Catholic social teachings: dignity of the human person- all people are sacred, made in the image and likeness of God; That the human person is both sacred and social. As Saint Paul said, ‘we are one body: when one suffers, we all suffer.' That people have a fundamental right to life, food, shelter, health care, education and employment; We are called to work globally for justice." — FATHER DESMOND CHIDI OHANKWERE, MSP

About the Mass of Remembrance
 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mass of Remembrance
When: Jan. 15, 3 p.m.
Where: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston