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'Day of Remembrance' to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Planned for Jan. 21

Public Relations
Posted: Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

Jan. 16, 2013

“A Day of Remembrance 2013” featuring a talk by Msgr. Raymond East, former executive director of the Office of Black Catholics and vicar for evangelization of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., a dream center, prayer service, dinner, multimedia presentation and a re-creation of Dr. King’s historic speech will be included in a day-long series of events at Saint Vincent College on national Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, in honor of the late civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968. All events except dinner are free and open to the public. Tickets for the event can be picked up in the Campus Life Dept. in the Robert S. Carey Student Center.

Members of the Visionaries of H.O.P.E. and the Office of Multicultural Student Life will create a dream center in the lounge of the Robert S. Carey Student Center, open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., where historic posters of Martin Luther King will be shown along with an exhibit of art and the unique opportunity to participate in a fused glass workshop.

Msgr. East, a nationally known speaker and evangelist, will be the main speaker at a prayer service in the Mary, Mother of Wisdom Student Chapel in the Carey Center at 4:15 p.m. that will also feature readings and music.

Msgr. East served as director of the Washington Archdiocese Office of Black Catholics for six years and has returned to full-time ministry. During his term as director, he said he was proud of “the bridge building between the different communities of African ancestry within the Archdiocese.” Out of the 580,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese, about 100,000 are of African descent. Some are newly-arrived from Africa and the Caribbean and some can trace their roots to settlers who arrived in the 1600s. The oldest of eight children born to Thomas and Gwendolyn East, both of whom are now deceased, Msgr. East was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in San Diego, Calif., where his father was an aerospace engineer. He attended Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas and St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg and was ordained in 1991. In 2002, he became director of the Office of Black Catholics. That office is responsible for the Council of Black Catholics, a group of black Catholics that advises the director on archdiocesan matters and matters pertinent to the black community; and the archdiocesan Black Catholic Congress team, whose members participate in the national congress and who work in parish and archdiocesan programs to evangelize and encourage full participation by black Catholics in parish life. The office is also involved in coordinating racial, ethnic and cultural sensitivity and awareness seminars, materials and workshops, and training African-American Catholic parish leaders for other parish leaders preparing for work in parishes. Other efforts coordinated by the office include the Archdiocese of Washington Mass Choir, which seeks to evangelize through liturgical and sacred music; maintaining the Black Catholic History Archives, that provides educational workshops, seminars, research and resource materials on or about black Catholics; coordinating an archdiocesan chapter of the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life; and an archdiocesan chapter of the Sisters in the Spirit, an organization of lay women organized for spiritual renewal and service to the community.

An invitational reception for members of the Visionaries of H.O.P.E. and guests will begin at 6 p.m. in the Fred M. Rogers Center ballroom. Heather Wasler of the Saint Vincent College Office of Admission, will review the evening agenda.

At 6:10 p.m., Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president of Saint Vincent College and Jeffrie Mallory, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Life, will welcome guests and deliver remarks.

During dinner, a multimedia presentation, “What’s Your Dream?” will be shown. Senior students Taleesha Johnson of Pittsburgh and Jeff Johnson of Hillside, N.J. will be masters of ceremonies for the program that will include keynote speaker Msgr. East.

A choral presentation by sophomore Chantal Braziel of Pittsburgh and re-creation of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by several members of the Visionaries of H.O.P.E executive board will be enacted during the evening presentation as well.

Other participants will include a speech by seniors Mercedes Guilford of East Orange, N.J. and Davina Hefflin of Greenville.

The College’s observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is being chaired by Jeffrie Mallory, Coordinator of Campus and Multicultural Student Life in the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Multicultural Student Life at Saint Vincent.

“The goal of the day as always is to honor, respect and remember the great things Martin Luther King, Jr. did in his lifetime,” Mallory said. “We want to remember what he fought for and that he was a man who respected everyone and wanted everyone to be respected as well.”

“We are emphasizing the educational dimension in our program,” he concluded. “We are honored to have Msgr. East as our featured speaker. Attendance at our observance has been growing every year and we look forward to hosting an even larger group of students, faculty, staff and people from the area.”

Further information about the Day of Remembrance is available from Mr. Mallory at 724-805-2564 or campus.life@email.stvincent.edu.

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Photo: Msgr. Raymond East 

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PR2013-031