By Ken Stone
San Diego’s Kevin Faulconer and eight other local mayors are expected to join 100 pastors and 3,000 people Saturday in streetside prayers for “healing and restoration.”
Meanwhile, the state’s 12 Roman Catholic dioceses including San Diego’s have released a video that depicts a “virtual” Stations of the Cross to “illustrate the sin of racism and to pray for individuals and society work to overcome it,” said the California Catholic Conference, which says it represents about 11 million Catholics.
The mayor event focuses on both the coronavirus pandemic and racial division “that has threatened to tear our city apart,” according to organizers.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said in a statement: “We must use the power of prayer to achieve the true promises of our country. On June 20, let’s come together and pray for God to heal this land, for unity among all people, for justice in our community and wisdom for our elected representatives.”Two county supervisors — Jim Desmond and Dianne Jacob — also will join some pastors on 10 city borders from 9 to 10 a.m.
Other mayors expected to attend include La Mesa’s Mark Arapostathis, Coronado’s Richard Bailey, Carlsbad’s Matt Hall, San Marcos’ Rebecca Jones, Escondido’s Paul McNamara, Lemon Grove’s Racquel Vasquez and El Cajon’s Bill Wells.
Supervisor Jacob said: “We are all so fortunate to live in a county like San Diego. Let’s rise up and pray so that it can continue to be one of the greatest counties in America.”
Participants were being encouraged to abide by CDC and state guidelines, including wearing a face covering and keeping 6 feet apart.
“People can also participate from their home,” organizers said.
- NORTH INLAND: San Marcos – Intersection of W. San Marcos Boulevard and South Rancho Santa Fe Drive
- NORTH COASTAL: Oceanside – Intersection of El Camino Real & Fire Mountain Drive
- INLAND: Carmel Mountain Ranch – Intersection of Carmel Mountain Road and Rancho Carmel Drive
- SAN DIEGO: Intersection of University Avenue and College Avenue
- DOWNTOWN: Waterfront Park: 1600 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego
- WEST: Playa Pacifica Park Mission Bay: 1093 E. Mission Bay Drive, San Diego
- SOUTH: Chula Vista City Hall and Friendship Park – Intersection of Fourth Avenue and F Street
- EAST (SAN CARLOS): Intersection of Lake Murray Boulevard and Navajo Road
- EAST (SANTEE): Intersection of Mast Boulevard and Carlton Hills Boulevard
- SOUTHEAST: Intersection of Euclid Avenue and Imperial Avenue
More information is at wepraysandiego.com. “For those interested in following guided prayer audio, downloadable versions will be available on the website and by texting WEPRAY to 52525,” organizers said.
In the video, the 14 stations were taped at locations with “deep racial meaning,” including a former KKK headquarters in North Park (starting about 25 minutes into the 40-minute video).
(“The Klan center was a large hall west of 30th Street near Idaho Street and University [Avenue],” according to SanDiegoHistory.org.)
San Diego Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan leads the conference’s ad hoc committee on racism, and coordinated creation of the video.
The video marked the fifth anniversary of the killings at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and the Juneteenth holiday, celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.
“People today suffer unjustly simply because of the color of their skin or their national origin,” says Bishop Robert McElroy, leader of the Diocese of San Diego and president of the California Catholic Conference. “Let us acknowledge the sin of racism and work to combat it in our social structures, our institutions and our hearts.”
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