I spent the 2001-2002 academic year as a postulant with the Congregation of Holy Cross discerning a vocation to the priesthood and religious life. I lived at Moreau Seminary on the campus of the University of Notre Dame and one evening we got to meet the legendary Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC, the former president of Notre Dame. This picture, from a civil rights rally he attended in Chicago in March of 1963, hangs prominently in his office. I remember Father Hesburgh saying that it is his favorite picture and he has had pictures taken with every pope since Pope Pius XII and every president since President Eisenhower. I thought of this picture on this, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It's a reminder of many things, including how many priests, nuns, and ordinary Catholics were involved in the civil rights movement, united with their fellow men and women of faith in the belief that all people are created in the image and likeness of God.
For our morning prayer we prayed this from Pope John Paul II:
Blessed are those who commit themselves
to the search for a just social order,
to promote those changes of attitudes
that are necessary for those on society's margins
to find a place at the human family's table.