Following a November 20 meeting, the registration deadline for the HNP African Ancestry Committee’s Go Down Moses retreat has been extended to December 15. The Dec. 27 to 30 retreat for young African-American men is being held to both educate the men about Catholicism and interest them in religious life. The committee has provided the retreat flyer and registration information to all the provinces of the OFM English-speaking Conference and to dioceses of the United States.
The committee has also scheduled its annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, which will occur less than a month after the retreat. A Mass will be celebrated by Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, on Jan. 20, 2013.
Each year, the Province, with the direction of the African Ancestry Committee, selects one of its ministries to highlight the legacy of Dr. King on the holiday weekend. In 2013, it will be celebrated at the principal Sunday Mass of the Province’s 65-year-old St. Anthony Shrine.
Traditionally, this event is “accompanied by appropriate hymns, attire and even food that honor the distance we have come and the freedom road that lays still ahead. All are invited to this joyous and special occasion,” saidDavid Hyman, OFM, chair of the committee.
Dr. King said: “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do the right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.” In that light, David said, the African Ancestry Committee is inviting all its 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.”
Next year — 2013 — is the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the Francis Peace Medal to Dr. King, said Teresa Hairston of the HNP African Ancestry Committee. It was presented in 1963 by the Secular Franciscan Order for Dr. King’s “truly Christian and Franciscan approach to the civil rights problem,” according to an article on the nafra-sfo website.
The HNP African Ancestry Committee members met this week to discuss plans for both the retreat and the holiday celebration.