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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic

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Juneteenth Celebration: A message from the Bishop Malesic

News of the Diocese

June 12, 2024

As we mark the day when the last enslaved people in the former Confederacy were freed, June 19, 1865, “Juneteenth,” I invite everyone to recognize the significance of the end of slavery in our country while reflecting on freedom and what it means to all of us who are created in the image and likeness of God.

We must never forget the horrors of slavery in our nation’s history and the impact it has had, stretching across generations. Only by remembering and understanding the sins of the past can we ensure those failings do not happen again. Let us use these lessons learned to fuel our commitment to peacefully work for racial equality and social justice, while respecting the dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death.

As Pope Francis stated when he addressed Congress some years ago, “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. ... The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

On this commemoration of Juneteenth, let us pray for a genuine conversion of heart, one that will compel change and lead us to follow Jesus Christ’s example of love for all. Let us open ourselves to embrace all of our brothers and sisters, regardless of our differences. Let us begin in our homes and spread Christ’s example of love to our neighborhoods, our workplaces, throughout our communities and beyond. Only by doing so will we have the opportunity to change hearts and minds, and impact society as a whole.

Let us pray together and ask our Father in heaven to guide us and direct our efforts to work for justice for all and for a lasting peace that brings us together as His beloved children. Coming together in worship and celebration is a wonderful way to begin!

I invite you to join me at a special Juneteenth outdoor Mass on Wednesday, June 19 at 10 a.m. at Glenview Park (424 E. 110thSt., Cleveland 44108), which will feature the Diocesan Gospel Choir. Mass will be followed by a celebration from 12 to 4 p.m., where there will be food, games and music. (Details available here.)

In case of rain, Mass will be celebrated at St. Aloysius - St. Agatha Church (10932 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, 44108).

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