A plaque will be dedicated this weekend commemorating the 60th anniversary of the closing of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, the historic spiritual center for Japanese American and Filipino Catholics in Seattle, reports the Seattle Times.
The church had a long history of fighting racism.
In 1942, Bishop Gerald Shaughnessy was one of the few who spoke out against the incarceration of 110,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
“Our Catholic heritage inculcates upon us … that we embrace our fellow American citizens of Japanese extraction in a special bond of charity, for they are no less loyal than others, and no less claimants of true American citizenship … innocent victims, as in many cases they will be, of antipathies and unreasoning prejudices, the Bishop said”
The pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish insisted on going to the camps with his parishioners so he could lead them in prayer.
Father Leopold Tibesar celebrated Mass each day at the Minidoka camp in Idaho. He also baptized babies, celebrated weddings and held services for funerals.
You can read more about this in the Seattle Times.