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Where Are Today’s Fr. Ouellets?

March 7, 2015

Paul Murray, writing for the National Catholic Reporter, remembers the Catholics that marched in Selma on March 7, 1965. A prominent character in Murray’s narrative is Fr. Maurice Ouellet, pastor of St. Elizabeth’s African-American mission in Selma. Against the wishes of his archbishop, Thomas Toolen, Ouellet helped register voters, as well as support and organize Selma-ins for the march to Montgomery.

Who are today’s Fr. Ouellets? And what are they doing? I don’t know for sure, but here’s my top ten for what they could be doing:

1. Organizing service workers into unions;

2. Supporting students in poorer neighborhoods as they resist over-testing and the diminishing and closing of public schools;

3. Advocating for undocumented immigrants;

4. Supporting green initiatives;

5. Resisting state-sponsored executions;

6. Marching with blacks and others suffering under police oppression (e.g. Ferguson);

7. Raising awareness for the diminished state support for the mentally ill;

8. Ministering to veterans;

9. Calling for more state infrastructure spending; and,

10. Helping in all efforts to reduce income and wealth inequality.

What would you add? – TL

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