The following comes from the Aug. 11 issue of the Catholic Voice, Oakland’s diocese newspaper.
Before night falls on Richmond Sept. 5, a group of people will gather to take a walk.
They’ll be neighbors, members of area churches of various faiths, and community leaders. They meet each Friday at 7 p.m. to participate in Cease-Fire Night Walk, designed to end violence in the community. Those walks in North Richmond often take them past scenes of past violence.
On this particular Friday evening, the walk will begin at St. Mark Church, where parishioners have taken part in these walks since 2012. Bishop Michael Barber will be walking with the parishioners, and their parochial administrator, Father Ramiro Flores, who has been active in non-violence efforts in the city.
Before the walk, the bishop will celebrate Mass at 6 p.m. at the church, which is at 159 Harbor Way….
Some of the walkers, from the CityTeam Ministries’ shelter for people with substance abuse problems, carry signs encouraging people to “Be safe” and “Be free.” The Catholic Worker group is making signs in Spanish to carry on the walks….
In 2013, Richmond experienced the lowest homicide rate in 33 years, the report said, crediting “the strong neighborhood level response and the broad-based collaboration between clergy, community, formerly incarcerated, service providers and law enforcement has been contributed significantly to the decline in overall homicides and the interruption of retaliatory shootings.”
The parish is nearly 90 percent Latino immigrants and a significant portion of them are undocumented, according to the report….
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