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MLK’s example means no sitting on the sidelines, Catholic bishops say

.- Bells will ring out in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination April 4, and Catholic bishops say it is a time for Christians to ask God what they need to do to counter racism.

“The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism,” the bishops said.

April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s 1968 assassination in Memphis, Tenn. Commemorations will include a moment of silence and a worldwide bell-ringing campaign.

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and The King Center in Atlanta will begin to ring bells at 6:01 p.m. Central Time. The City of Memphis bells will follow at 6:03 p.m. Nation-wide, bells will begin to ring at 6:05. Then international participants will begin two minutes later.

In Washington, D.C., the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will also take part. Its bells will peal 39 times, King’s age at his death, “in homage to Dr. King’s legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance,” the U.S. bishops said.

The tolling of the basilica’s bells will be broadcast live on the basilica’s Facebook page at

In Memphis, local Catholics will participate in the commemoration.

Memphis Bishop Martin D. Holley, who is African-American, will celebrate 9 a.m. Mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral with visiting bishops and Catholic clergy of Memphis. There will be a period of reflection after Mass, followed by a time of reflection and then a rosary at St. Peter’s Church.

Bishop Holley will say Mass at the National Shrine of St. Martin de Porres and help lead a “Walk of Faith” from St. Peter’s Church to the National Civil Rights Museum in time for the program and the moment of silence.

Read more at Catholic News Agency. 

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