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MLK Day: What Are You Doing for Others?

Seminarians attend Mass honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Ryan Eggenberger

On January 21, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries of the Archdiocese of Detroit hosted the annual Mass in honor of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It was a sunny, but bitterly cold morning, with temperatures bottoming out at -4 degrees (F). Despite the cold weather, people from all over the area gathered for the liturgy: cathedral parishioners; parishioners from neighboring parishes; the Knights & Ladies of Peter Claver, members representing the cause for canonization of The Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton; and faculty, staff, and seminarians of Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

This year’s theme was, “What Are You Doing for Others?” The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Theodore Parker, pastor of St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church. In his homily, Father Parker reflected on his time as a seminarian in New York during the 1960s, and how truth is more than an intellectual concept, but a person; namely, Jesus Christ.

by Ryan Eggenberger

Father Parker noted that working for the elimination of racism is an integral part of our task as missionary disciples. Sharing the Truth of the Gospel with the world requires that we uphold and fight for the dignity of the whole human person in all its aspects, including racial diversity.

Father Parker’s comments resonate with Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel

"Many people today are deeply wounded by contemporary social ills such as the breakdown of the family, abuse, poverty, or racism...The Church today continues the ministry of the apostolic Church, which continued the ministry of Jesus. So we must prayerfully discern how the healing work of Christ can be incorporated into our announcement of the good news." 

Following the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Leon Dixon Jr., director of Black Catholic Ministries in the Archdiocese of Detroit, shared a moving testimony of how the Holy Spirit has been active in his ministry and life in the past few months. Dixon encouraged all brothers and sisters in Christ gathered this day to keep gathering, forming community, and loving our neighbor as a way to advance the Gospel, uphold the dignity of human life, and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ryan Eggenberger

Ryan Eggenberger is a graduate Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.