Message from Bishop Burbidge on the Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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As we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16, we remember his legacy as it continues to inspire and challenge us to reject racism in all its forms and to build a culture in which the innate dignity of every man, woman, and child is respected. As the Bishop of Arlington, I am mindful of how our ethnically diverse diocese of over 600,000 Catholics includes a vibrant Black Catholic community, which continues to enrich us all.

Our Christian faith calls us to protect, preserve and champion human dignity without equivocation. Thus our Catechism teaches us, “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1935).

May we make our holiday in remembrance of Dr. King more than just a “day off” from work or school and see it as an opportunity to serve the most vulnerable, to reach out to those rejected, to defend the rights of those who are oppressed and abused, and to promote peace in our communities. As we reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King, may we be inspired to love and to serve our neighbors united always as members of God's family.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017