SEATTLE - To show solidarity with parents separated from their children at the U.S./Mexico border, St. James Cathedral is co-sponsoring a prayer vigil and procession at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21.
The cathedral is partnering with St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral “to be a light to the city of Seattle that the faith communities are in solidarity with the families at the border and with those seeking asylum,” said Patrick Barredo, director of social outreach and advocacy at St. James.
He noted that the U.S. bishops have been outspoken in bringing the border situation to light. In addition, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Auxiliary Bishops Eusebio Elizondo and Daniel Mueggenborg have joined with the U.S. bishops in condemning the actions at the border.
Thursday’s event begins at St. Mark’s, 1245 10th Ave. E., with a prayer vigil that will last about 20 minutes, Barredo said. Then participants will process to St. James at 804 Ninth Ave., a 1.9-mile walk expected to take about an hour. No singing or praying is planned during the procession, and signs are not being encouraged, Barredo said.
A concluding prayer vigil at St. James will include preaching by Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, former chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ migration committee.
Past vigils and processions co-sponsored with St. Mark’s have attracted as many as 500 to 2,000 people, Barredo said. Thursday’s event has been publicized to other faith communities, and it’s expected that a rabbi will participate at the cathedral and a Muslim cleric may have a role at St. Mark’s, Barredo said.
“We want the city of Seattle to know that our faith does not condone the separation of families,” Barredo said, “that we don’t condone the prevention of those seeking asylum from entering the United States.”
And, he said, “we hope that those who attend will also exercise their political will and engage with our elected officials to let them know that the faith communities do not approve of the practices at the border.”