WASHINGTON (November 12, 2004) —
The opening liturgy of the 2004 Fall General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 15 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception here, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of their pastoral letter on racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us, in which they declared "racism is a sin."
Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville (IL), the first African American president of the USCCB, will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Approximately 290 bishops expected to attend the USCCB meeting will concelebrate.
Music will be provided by the choir of Holy Comforter/Saint Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington, under the direction of Kenneth W. Louis.
The Catholic bishops of the United States approved Brothers and Sisters to Us at their November 1979 meeting. "Racism and economic oppression are distinct but interrelated forces which dehumanize our society," they said. "Movement toward authentic justice demands a simultaneous attack on both evils."
They plan a full year of activities to commemorate the pastoral letter.
WHAT: Opening Liturgy, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
WHO: Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, principal celebrant and homilist
WHEN: 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 15, 2004
WHERE: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC
NOTE: The full text of Brothers and Sisters to Us is available on the Web at: http://www.usccb.org/saac/bishopspastoral.htm