Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


‘Welcoming The Stranger’ Is MLK Mass Theme; Celebrations Planned For Youth, Young Adults

Published January 4, 2007

For more than two decades, the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Office for Black Catholic Ministry, has brought the community together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In observance of the 2007 King Holiday, the archdiocese’s 23rd annual Eucharistic Service to commemorate the Christian witness of Dr. King will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 48 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in downtown Atlanta.

The public is invited to participate in this solemn occasion. Also to honor King, on Sunday, Jan. 14, the fifth annual MLK Youth Celebration will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the gym of St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School in Decatur, featuring various dance, theatrical and musical performances. And the first MLK Young Adult Talk & Social will also be held on Jan. 14 from 8 to 11 p.m. at Shout restaurant in midtown Atlanta.

The Office for Black Catholic Ministry and Catholic Charities are also requesting donations of new or clean used hats, scarves or coats, which can be dropped of at either the MLK Eucharistic Service, the youth celebration, or the young adult social. The winter clothes will be distributed by Catholic Charities’ emergency assistance program.

The principal celebrant on Saturday will be Archbishop Wilton D Gregory, and Father Stephen D. Thorne, director of the Office for Black Catholics, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will deliver the homily. The master of ceremonies will be Father Ricardo Bailey, parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “We Welcome the Stranger Among Us,” to celebrate both King’s dream and God’s teachings.

“We believe that these words express the essence of our faith and are timely reminders of one of the pressing vicissitudes of contemporary life, and the considerable challenge it poses to our faith commitment and practice,” said Charles Prejean, director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry.

“In reminding ourselves of these challenges and the requisites of our faith, may we be moved to petition our heavenly Father to strengthen our resolve to live our faith, with an increased capacity to love our neighbor, especially to love and welcome our neighbor (who is) the newcomer in our midst,” Prejean said. “We pray for his guidance to reach a comprehensive resolution to the challenge in this regard, one that will enable us to build Dr. King’s Beloved Community.”

At the MLK youth event, the keynote speaker will be Archbishop Gregory and the master of ceremonies will be Father Bruce Wilkinson, pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Atlanta. The event will be held in the gym of St. Peter Claver, located at 2560 Tilson Road, Decatur.The performers will be William Thomas IV, a young adult poet; the Amazing Grace Liturgical Dance Company; Our Lady of Mercy High School Choir; Malaysian Association of Georgia, Inc. Cultural Dance Team; Kyleah Starling of St. Pius X High School and Corpus Christi Church; St. Thomas More School Kindergarten Choir; Gambian Christian Peoples Association Chorale Group; and Evergreen Baptist Church Dance Team.

Other performers are the St. Thomas Aquinas Hispanic Choir; St. Thomas the Apostle Hispanic Dance Team; St. Jude’s Brazilian Dancers; Sts. Peter and Paul Church Youth Choir; St. Peter Claver Regional School Concert Choir; St. Patrick’s Church Youth Group; Sts. Peter and Paul Church Youth Group; Our Lady of Lourdes Church Youth Group, and St. Paul of the Cross Church Youth Group.

The young adult event will be held Jan. 14 from 8 to11 p.m. in the Bamboo Room at Shout, located at 1197 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 526, Atlanta. The keynote speaker is Father Roy Lee of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.