One day when the glory comes
It will be ours, it will be ours
Oh one day when the war is won
We will be sure, we will be sure
Oh glory (Glory, glory)
Oh (Glory, glory)
I am from Baltimore…have been for two decades now. My kids have grown up here; my grandchildren were born here. And my heart is broken.
The city is burning. Fires have been set around the city. Police cars aflame, civilian cars as well. Storefronts in the worst neighborhoods have been broken and then looted. Investments have been made towards the future of these communities and then trashed beyond immediate recovery. Restaurants closed. Downtown offices emptied early; professional sports and theater postponed. Baltimore is no longer wrapped in glory. One day it will be ours, it will be ours.
We are stunned. We did not imagine ourselves as Ferguson. We did not see ourselves as Selma. We are confused and conflicted. Oh one day we will be sure, we will be sure.
But, we must find ways to discuss this all and we must work towards peace… Here are some resources for you to use, if you are from around Baltimore, Ferguson, Selma, or anywhere in between:
- Addressing Racial Justice and Violence in the Classroom (edweek)
- Racism Today is the Ultimate Evil (Ignatian Solidarity)
- Prayer for Dismantling Racism (Sisters of Providence)
- Resources on Racism and Violence (NFCYM)
- Helping Teenagers with Racial Tension (Youth Specialties)
- Leading Students into Racial Reconciliation (Group)
- Brothers And Sisters To Us U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism 1977
My son, a wise young man indeed, in reflecting about this moment in Baltimore history quoted our city’s own peace-seeker Daniel Berrigan, S.J.:
Redeem the times!
The times are inexpressibly evil.
Christians pay conscious indeed religious tribute to Caesar and Mars
by the approval of overkill tactics by brinkmanship
by nuclear liturgies by racism by support of genocide
They embrace their society with all their heart and abandon the cross
They pay lip service to Christ and military service to the powers of death
And yet and yet the times are inexhaustibly good solaced by the courage and hope of many.
The truth rules Christ is not forsaken
In a time of death some men the resisters those who work hardily for social change
those who preach and embrace the truth such men overcome death
their lives are bathed in the light of the resurrection the truth has set them free.
In the jaws of death, they proclaim their love of the brethren
We think of such men in the world in our nation in the churches
sand the stone in our breast is dissolved
we take heart once more.
When Cardinal O’Brien was installed as the 15th Archbishop of Baltimore, he stated:
Our city has been in crisis for decades. In 1966, Cardinal Shehan told the priests of Baltimore that, “If we don’t save the city, we can forget about the Church in the Archdiocese.” In human terms, that remains as true today as it was forty-one years ago: for to write off large parts of the city as hopeless and beyond redemption is to disregard tens of thousands of lives made in the image and likeness of God. Such disregard might be very unlikely to find forgiveness on that last day, when each of us makes an account of our stewardship, as indeed we will.
It simply cannot be the case that Marin Luther King’s dream, so magnificently articulated at the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd that included then-Archbishop Shehan, is destined to decay into the nightmare of once-flourishing neighborhoods destroyed by drugs and violence.
It simply cannot be the case that the sacrifices of so many African American families across too many decades of discrimination must go for naught.
It simply cannot be the case that the urban ministry of which the Archdiocese of Baltimore was a pioneer should or must, finally, fail, from lack of energy, lack of resources, and lack of vision.
We cannot allow this as a people, as a Church. We cannot allow large parts of our city to die. We cannot allow thousands of our neighbors to live lives of hopelessness and despair. I have no master plan for urban revitalization. But I pledge to you today that this Archdiocese will make every effort to insure that the dream that animated Dr. King and so many others of us does not die – for realizing that dream is central to the preaching of the Gospel which is the core of the Church’s existence. As I welcome you civic leaders of City, County, State, and Nation, and thank you for your presence, I pledge my commitment and collaboration in rebuilding this as a City worthy of all God’s children.
Redeem the times, brothers and sisters, ALL! Save the city! One day when the glory comes. It will be ours, it will be ours. GLORY!