By Thomas Mason
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and subsequent protests highlight racism and inequities in this country. The St. Martin de Porres Society (SMD) of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport acknowledges and reaffirms our strong opposition to all forms of discrimination, acts of hate, prejudice, racial injustice and ethnic oppression. We believe racism in all forms is a sin as well as an affront to the Judeo-Christian values and teachings of the Catholic Church.
SMD believes God created all human beings equally; Genesis, 1:26-27, “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
SMD believes God created one race of people, the human race; Acts 17:26, “From one single principle he not only created the whole human race so that they could occupy the entire earth, but he decreed the times and limits of their habitation.”
SMD believes God loves all of his children; John 3:16, “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
SMD asks all of our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Davenport to pray and share the following prayer to overcome racism:
Mary, friend and mother to all, through your Son God has found a way to unite himself to every human being, called to be one people, sisters and brothers to each other.
We ask for your help in calling on your Son, seeking forgiveness for the times when we have failed to love and respect one another.
We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism and to build a just society.
We ask for your help in following your son, so that prejudice and animosity will no longer infect our minds or hearts but will be replaced with a love that respects the dignity of each person.
Mother of the Church, the spirit of your Son Jesus warms our hearts: pray for us. Amen.
St. Martin de Porres Society of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport
Thomas A. Mason IV,
About the society
Sacred Heart’s St. Martin de Porres Society — In 1985, Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport founded a St. Martin de Porres Society. The mission of this society is to promote racial unity and Black awareness among Catholics in the diocese. The society’s annual activities include celebration of The Feast of St. Martin (Nov. 3), annual teaching during Black History Month (February) and sponsoring a Black History Essay Contest at All Saints Catholic School. The society also provides program support with numerous other church ministries and neighborhood initiatives (e.g. neighborhood clean, host of the 2019 MLK Jr. Day celebration, host of NETS — Neighborhoods Energized to Succeed — meetings, etc.
St. Martin de Porres , 1579-1639, was a Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican Order who was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony.
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