Catholics Organize Event to Cross “Delmar Divide”

September 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Pilgrimage During Year of Mercy Intended to Build Relationships

ST. LOUIS – The Interracial Relations Committee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ North City Deanery and the Peace & Justice Commission of the archdiocese are organizing a “Crossing the Delmar Divide” pilgrimage on Saturday, September 10, 2016, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event was created with the intent to build relationships across racial lines, especially during the current Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis in 2015.

The pilgrimage will begin with a prayer for unity at the clock tower on the campus of Saint Louis University then proceed north to Delmar Boulevard making several stops along a route tracing back to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell). Refreshments will be available at the conclusion of the pilgrimage in the offices of Catholic Charities next to the Cathedral Basilica.

“The mission of the Committee is to build relationships across racial lines,” according to North City Deanery Interracial Relations Committee member Joyce Jones. “We want all to have a better understanding of the reality and history of racism and how it has affected our parish communities. During this pilgrimage we will cross Delmar as a symbol of togetherness as we seek to live out more fully Jesus’ universal prayer: ‘that they may be one.’”

“Many issues in our community stem simply from a lack of relationships,” said Marie Kenyon, director of the Peace & Justice Commission. “Divisions like the ‘Delmar Divide’ so often dictate how and with whom our relationships are formed. Though this pilgrimage is just one event, it is a step towards breaking down divisions and restoring trust and peace in the St. Louis region.”

The Peace & Justice Commission was originally announced at a Mass for Peace and Justice on August 20, 2014, when Archbishop Robert J. Carlson declared his intention to address societal issues through the new commission, such as family breakdown, poverty, racial tension, and lack of education. Attorney Marie Kenyon was appointed director of the Peace & Justice Commission in January 2015 and Archbishop Carlson later appointed 27 clergy, religious, and lay persons as members. The Commission hopes to help build stronger, more peaceful communities by working to help strengthen the family.

For more information about the “Delmar Divide” pilgrimage visit archstl.org/peace-justice. To learn more about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, including a calendar of events and a complete list of local pilgrimage sites, visit archstl.org/mercy.

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The North City Deanery Interracial Relations Committee Mission Statement:
Grounded in our shared Catholic faith we, the North City Deanery Interracial Relations Committee want to build relationships across racial lines. We are committed to understanding the reality and history of racism and how it has affected our parish communities. We seek to live out more fully Jesus’ universal prayer: “that they may be one.”