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Franciscan Sister of Mary Antona Ebo and Roneisha Simpson at a school event in 2013. CNS photo.

Roneisha Simpson, then a junior at Cardinal Ritter High School in St. Louis, speaks with Franciscan Sister Antona Ebo after the nun spoke to students at the school on Feb. 14, 2013. Sister Ebo was one of six women religious working in the Archdiocese of St. Louis who responded to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s request to march in 1965 in Selma, Ala. (CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review) (March 5, 2013)

 

Rebuilding the Bridge: African American Affairs’ 50th Anniversary Initiative

 

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How might the Freedom Summer project of the Civil Rights era speak to us today as Catholics and faithful citizens?  

The 50th Anniversary of...

50 Years Ago in his encyclical to The Clergy And Faithful of the Whole World and To All Men of Good Will, Pope St. John XXIII declared:

“When the relations of human society are expressed in terms of rights and duties, men become conscious of spiritual values, understand the meaning and significance of truth, justice, charity and freedom, and become deeply aware that they belong to this world of values.  Moreover, when moved by such concerns, they are brought to a better knowledge of the true God Who is personal and transcendent, and thus they make the ties that bind them to God the solid foundation and supreme criterion of their lives, both that of life which they live interiorly in the depths of their own souls and of that in which they are united to other men in society.” 

#45 Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), April 11, 1963 

A half century ago immersed in a massive social movement, Americans awakened to pleas for justice, civil rights, human rights and the eradication of racism.  At home and abroad those who were “less fortunate” sought relief from unjust systems of oppression, discrimination and colonial status.  In recognition of that critical moment, the USCCB will encourage the Catholic community to rediscover this slice of history through the prism of the Church’s involvement at the time and within the current social context.  From June 2014 through 2015, we will examine how the lessons and legacy of the civil rights era continue to shape us today as Catholics and faithful citizens.  Bookmark this page, share it with your friends and return often for guest commentaries on the USCCB Blog, a calendar of events, prayer and catechetical resources, video clips, practical ideas for engaging the Catholic community and much more.

Timeline - selection of significant events

This timeline shows some of the major milestones of the Civil Rights movement. 



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