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Bishop Malooly, Maryland bishops want MLK Day to stress ‘work for unity, dignity and respect for every person’

People gather for a rally on Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn., April 4, 2018, in observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Rev. King was shot and killed April 4, 1968, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in front of room 306 where he was staying. (CNS photo/Rick Musacchio, EPA)

Maryland Catholic Conference

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, we do so with heavy hearts, yet also with hope.

Bishop Malooly celebrates Mass as part of Catholic Schools Week at St. Mark’s in January 2020. Dialog photo/Don Blake

The racism, strife, violence, and inequity that have marked our nation over the past year sadly show that we still are a nation divided. We have not yet achieved the promise of unity and peace envisioned by Reverend King and longed for by so many throughout our nation’s history.

This must change. We must continue to work for unity, dignity, and respect for every person no matter who they are. We must truly listen to each other, to seek to understand the experiences and the pain suffered by our brothers and sisters and to commit to understanding and to change. We must see Christ in every person and to be Christ in our own actions.

The promise of Christ’s love makes this possible. Our nation can be united if we work together. As we reflect upon the life of Martin Luther King and look ahead, as a nation, to the inauguration of a new president, let each of us commit to work toward a world of unity, peace, and hope.

In the words spoken by our predecessor, Archbishop of Washington Patrick O’Boyle, as he stood with Rev. King at the 1963 March on Washington:

“May we be sensitive to our duties toward others as we demand from them our rights. May we move forward without bitterness, even when confronted with prejudice and discrimination. May we shun violence, knowing that the meek shall inherit the earth. But may this meekness of manner be joined with courage and strength so that with your help, O heavenly Father, and following the teachings of Christ, your son, we shall now and in the days to come live together as brothers in dignity, justice, charity and peace.”

The Catholic bishops serving Maryland are Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori; Washington Archbishop, Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory; and Wilmington Bishop W. Francis Malooly; two Washington auxiliary bishops: Bishop Roy E. Campbell and Bishop Mario Dorsonville; and three additional bishops from Baltimore: Auxiliary Bishop Adam J. Parker; Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Denis J. Madden; and Auxiliary Bishop Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR.