A day of community organizing, a peace march in Manhattan near where the civil rights leader spent time, and an annual Mass of remembrance will mark the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., who is commemorated nationally on the third Monday of January.
Holy Name’s annual celebration, planned by the HNP African Ancestry Committee, will take place Jan. 20 at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. Provincial Councilor Joseph Nangle, OFM, will celebrate the Mass that takes place at a different HNP ministry each year. All are welcome at this Sunday noon Mass at the Province’s 65-year-old St. Anthony Shrine.
James Patrick Kelly, OFM, director of the Shrine, said the Province is “honoring us here in Boston by having the provincial-wide celebration of the life, significance, and works of Martin Luther King at the Shrine.”
David Hyman, OFM, chair of the committee, said that traditionally, this event is “accompanied by appropriate hymns, attire and even food that honor the distance we have come and the freedom road that lies still ahead. All are invited to this joyous and special occasion.”
The African Ancestry Committee invites all Provincial ministries “to make the holiday weekend special in some manner, at Mass or on the holiday itself. Brotherhood and sisterhood can be an elusive calling that beckons us again and again on all counts; as citizens, as Christians, as Franciscans. If we keep an eye on the news, we know this work is never finished,” said David.
Several other Provincial ministries have announced ways that they are commemorating the civil rights leader.
In New York City, Holy Name of Jesus Parish on the Upper West Side, located near a street named Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, will participate in the 11th Annual Interfaith Peace Walk on Jan. 19. The walk, which includes six Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Catholic churches in the neighborhood, begins at 2 p.m. at Holy Name Church at the corner of Amsterdam Ave. and 97th Street.
With a theme of “E Pluribus Unum: From Diversity, Unity and Strength,” walkers will stop at 2nd Presbyterian Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, West End Presbyterian, Ascension Lutheran Church, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, and culminate at Holy Name, where refreshments will be served.
The walk is presented by the Holy Name Committee for Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation, and West Siders for Peace and Justice. As he does most years, Michael Tyson, OFM, plans to participate.
In Camden, N.J., St. Anthony of Padua will host its 4th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Community Organizing on Jan. 21. Although the official holiday is marked as a day of service, the student leaders are taking a different approach, said Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony. “Community organizing,” said Jud, “is much more in line with what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for.”
The highlight of the day, said Jud, will be the St. Anthony students interviewing members of the Camden School Board, a government representative, and an official from Cooper’s Ferry, a partnership to revitalize the town.
In Wilmington, Del., St. Joseph Church, where John Frambes, OFM, is the pastor, will participate in the 7th Annual Black History Month Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 26, from 9 to 11 a.m.
The parish will also give away free clothes to those in need from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in honor of Dr. King’s birthday.
Parishioners will also mark the holiday with St. Joseph Day at Longwood Gardens, including a guided tour of the gardens and conservatory, followed by a performance by folksingers Kim and Reggie Harris. Kim is co-author of theWelcome Table Mass setting used at St. Joseph.
— Wendy Healy, a Connecticut-based freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.