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Tampa Bay’s Catholic bishop to hold prayer vigil for racial harmony and justice

Bishop Gregory Parkes plans a vigil Sunday at which “people of good will” can kneel, pray and carry signs.
A parishioner prays at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg on March 20.
A parishioner prays at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg on March 20. [ SCOTT KEELER | TAMPA BAY TIMES ]
Published Jun. 4, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG — Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, which encompasses, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties, will hold a prayer vigil Sunday “in solidarity with all people of good will who seek racial harmony and an end to racial injustice.”

Related: Tampa Bay religious leaders speak words of peace and justice, but some remain pessimistic

Parkes will lead the gathering, which will include silent and scriptural prayer, during a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament inside the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 Fifth Ave. N. Additionally, there will be an outdoor demonstration with individual and group prayer at the corner of Fifth Avenue N and Tyrone Boulevard. In the event of inclement weather, the entire event will be indoors.

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, left, will take over for the retiring Bishop Robert Lynch in January. He is a fresh face assuming an important role as a moral and spiritual leader during a time of political upheaval both inside and outside the Catholic Church.
Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, left, will take over for the retiring Bishop Robert Lynch in January. He is a fresh face assuming an important role as a moral and spiritual leader during a time of political upheaval both inside and outside the Catholic Church. [ Tampa Bay Times ]

The vigil, which will take place from 3 to 4 p.m., will include Benediction on the Cathedral steps, where those in attendance will be asked to kneel for eight minutes as they are able.

Participants are encouraged to wear a mask and bring a water bottle. Signs also are encouraged. The diocese suggests going to dosp.org/racialharmony for suggested language and additional information. The event will be live-streamed at dosp.org/livestream and Facebook.com/DioStPete.