Diocesan parishes and organizations will unite to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 19 with a day of service.
In 1983, legislation was signed to create a federal holiday on the third Monday of January to mark the Jan. 15 birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Eleven years later, Congress designated that federal holiday as a national day of service, which makes the MLK Day of Service the only federal holiday observed as a “day on, not a day off.”
The day of service reflects the values of Dr. King, who said, “The most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Parishes are encouraged to host or participate in a day of service as Catholics called to heed the Gospel call of service throughout the year. To aid in planning a “Tool Kit” of tips and service possibilities is available on the Diocese of Trenton website.
The tool kit suggests such service activities as community clean-up, preparing and serving meals at a soup kitchen, helping with chores for the homebound, collecting items for a homeless shelter or making crafts for hospitals or nursing homes. Included in the kit is a prayer service and affirmation of faith based on the writings of Dr. King.
The annual Center for FaithJustice’s MLK, Jr., Youth Day of Service will bring together 200 students, grades 6 -12, from the Dioceses of Trenton and Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, on Jan. 19 for a day in St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville. The day begins in prayer before the students head out to 22 sites in the greater Trenton area and Mercer County community. The day of service concludes with a snack, prayer and discussions.
St. Paul Parish will host the annual Princeton area’s MLK, Jr., interfaith prayer service Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in the church. Sponsored by the Princeton Clergy Association, it will feature music from the St. Paul Parish children’s choir.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown, will host an evening of volunteer work at Moorestown Ministerium Food Pantry Jan. 19 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Volunteers should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to pack bags of dry goods groceries and distribute them to patrons. Children under 18 are welcome to organize and restock shelves and pack bags. For further information contact Brian Lowy at [email protected].
The Mercer County CYO Bromley Neighborhood Center, in conjunction with the Hamilton Township Municipal Government and the J.O. Wilson Hamilton Neighborhood Center, will co-sponsor Hamilton Township’s 12th Annual Tribute to Dr. King Jan. 15 beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The ceremony will take place at Faith Baptist Church, Hamilton and will include musical performances by Isaiah Alston, a top 10 finalist on the television show, “The X Factor,” the Faith Baptist Church Adult Choir and the Hamilton High School West Jazz Band. John O. Wilson Hamilton Township Neighborhood Center executive director, Gloria Stephens, will be honored with the Spirit of Community Service Award, while Nottingham High School student Nekayle Whitaker, will receive the first annual Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Scholarship Award, presented by the CYO Bromley Center.
Hamilton Township School District Assistant Superintendent, Steven Bollar, will provide the keynote address during the tribute ceremony. Other dignitaries and special guests include Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede, Faith Baptist Church Pastor Lance Walker and Mercer County CYO Bromley Director, Patrick Hardiman.[[In-content Ad]]