Fr. Alonzo Cox lead a discussion for the youth ministers in the Diocese of Brooklyn on how to address racism with our youth. While this topic is extremely difficult to discuss it is our reality and Fr. Cox recommends, “approaching the conversation with prayer, support of our young people and making sure their voices are heard while promoting peace and harmony.” Our youth ministers were encouraged to be open, honest and share their own experiences. Fr. Cox repeatedly stated that when discussing this topic to approach it with authenticity. Youth ministers are asked to provide a safe space for young people to express their thoughts and concerns.
Fr. Cox is the pastor of St. Martin De Porres in Brooklyn, the Diocesan Director of the Ministry to African American Catholics and Coordinator of the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns. Among his many responsibilities he also takes time to visit schools and parishes across the Diocese to discuss the sin of racism.
Through the Ministry to African American Catholics, Fr. Cox is working on larger Diocesan events and the youth ministers were encouraged to connect with their pastors to work together on addressing this issue within their own communities. Fr. Cox reminds us that our young people want to be heard and we can help make sure that they are.
As Fr. Cox concluded his presentation, he reminded us that “as a church we should not allow for injustices like this to continue and we should move forward as people of prayer, people of hope and people of love.” He reminds us that what we do comes from the peace of Jesus and how important it is “for us to bring the peace of Jesus to the streets of our city as we make our voices heard for all the world to hear.”
For additional information you may visit the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concern’s website here: http://blackcatholicconcerns.org/black-catholic-pioneers-and-saints/ or their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/blackcatholicconcernsbk. Fr. Cox also highly recommends reading, “Open Wide Our Hearts” http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf which is a pastoral letter against racism offered by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.