Dear Brother Priests, Chancery, Cathedral and Parish staff:
On June 18 the bishops of the California Catholic Conference released a video reenacting the Stations of the Cross to draw attention to the sin of racism and ask God’s help in eliminating it. You can find it on the Diocese of Oakland’s website: https://www.oakdiocese.org/ccc-media-releases. Parishes and staff are encouraged to share the video on their website and social media channels, and consider using the prayer service locally.
The liturgy was developed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Each station in the video was taped at a location with rich racial significance. The sixth Station of the Cross was taped at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland where Oscar Grant was killed.
It is significant that June 19 is Juneteenth, when we commemorate freedom for African Americans, and the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a feast to reflect on God’s boundless and passionate love for all humanity. As the Way of the Cross allows us to enter into Jesus’ final outpouring of love for each of us, may we use this video as a prayer to deepen the conversion of hearts and minds in our love for all our brothers and sisters.
Yours Fraternally in Christ,
The Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ