The Catholic community of Detroit is marking Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with volunteer efforts in the city of Detroit by hundreds of Catholic youths on Saturday, Jan. 19, and a liturgy at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on Monday, Jan. 21.
“When we capsulize Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, his vision falls in line with Catholic social teaching. He envisioned a world where everyone was accepted, where everyone was at the table – and, really, what he was doing was following in the footsteps of Jesus,” said John Thorne, director of Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Detroit, regarding the Catholic Church’s activities surrounding Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s national holiday Jan. 21. “What we are doing is celebrating Rev. King’s relationship with Jesus, and asking ourselves, ‘How can we be the life of Christ in our community?’”
Saturday: 350 Youths to Volunteer
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, more than 350 teenagers, from Catholic parish youth groups in the city and suburbs, will volunteer at 11 sites across the city. After a similar, though smaller, effort last year, a group of youths spearheaded this year’s volunteer efforts themselves through an organization called Young Faith Activators of Christ’s Teachings (YFACT).
The volunteering youths are from Detroit churches, as well as churches in Allen Park, Berkley, Birmingham, Canton, Dearborn, Grosse Ile, Grosse Pointe, Inkster, Lincoln Park, Roseville and St. Clair Shores. They will be serving the poor and homeless, visiting the elderly at senior centers, helping to operate soup kitchens and food pantries, among other volunteer activities. Following the volunteer efforts, they will hold a youth rally at 2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.
“People were transformed through Rev. Martin Luther King’s work and vision, and these young people have seen that and they want to be changed by this experience. Through it, we hope they can see first-hand that they are empowered to make a change to their community,” said Joyce Francois, youth ministry coordinator for the Archdiocese of Detroit, who is helping oversee the effort. “This volunteer day also speaks to Rev. King’s vision of unity. We’re bringing youths from parishes in the city, and in the suburbs, and hopefully they’ll be building those relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Monday: Bishop to Celebrate Dr. King Day Mass
On Monday, as the nation celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Catholics will mark the occasion with a liturgy at 10 a.m. the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda will be the principal celebrant at the Mass, which each year is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Detroit Office for Black Catholic Ministries. The Urban Parish Youth Choir will provide music for the liturgy.
Note to Media:
Reporters interested in covering either of these events can call the Archdiocese of Detroit Public Relations Office at (313) 237-5802 for further details and volunteer locations. The Cathedral is located at 9844 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, one mile north of West Grand Boulevard and one mile south of the Davison Freeway.