17 June 2020

Dear SKD Family

It was great seeing so many top halves of faces this past weekend. I knew I missed you all, but I never realized how much. I felt almost like a teen meeting their favorite star for the first time. It was great to see how many of you were willing to follow our new protocols to make sure everyone was safe. If you would like to join us in person this weekend, please make sure to sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0b45a5ae28a0f94-weekend1, or go to our parish website and click on the “Sign up for Mass” button.

This past weekend many of you said you really enjoyed the videos I send out and the saint stories. I am happy to say that today I will be sharing both of those. As for youth ministry, I will hold off on any updates because I am still working on possibly having in person meetings. If you would like to receive text messages, please email me with what age group you would like the update from.


Please continue to send me pictures of you and your family. We love to see you and so parishioners love to see their SKD family. Please enjoy the following video.

Did You Know?

Many of you know I was born and lived in Colombia until I was 8 years old, when my father was transferred to Washington DC for his job. Growing up biculturally I learned that the same systemic failures that we have in the US are also in existence in Latin America. These failures make it more difficult for people of color (in some cases even more so in Latin America) to be treated equally.

Did you know that the Patron Saint of my native country fought against some of this institutionalized discrimination? His name is St. Peter Claver (San Pedro Claver for my fellow Spanish speakers). He is best known for his care of enslaved people, primarily enslaved African people. Born in Spain, he began his ministry and lived mostly in Cartagena in the early 1600s. A major slave hub for both Latin America and North America Cartagena proved to be a place for much needed Christian ministry. By the time he arrived slavery had been allowed by King Charles for nearly 100 years. The Catholic Church was outspoken by this time about the evils of slavery and considered it to be a mortal sin to enslave people. This put the Church and the Government at odds. As a result, St. Peter, during his travels to plantations around the country, often chose to stay with the slaves and minister to them rather than staying with plantation owners who often had high places in government and society. He would also meet the boats as they came in and would go in to find many sick and shocked Africans. He would carry a cloak with him to give to whomever might need it. He would also come with medicine, food, bread, brandy, lemons, and tobacco. In the process he also baptized over 300,000 slaves and often preached about the need to see them as fellow human beings. He is considered a heroic example of what should be the Christian practice of love and of the exercise of human rights. He died in 1654 The city magistrates, who had previously considered him a nuisance for his persistent advocacy on behalf of the slaves, ordered a public funeral and he was buried with pomp and ceremony.

The extent of Claver’s ministry, which was prodigious even before considering the astronomical number of people he baptized, came to be realized only after his death. He was canonized in 1896 by Pope Leo and made patron of not only Colombia, but of race relations (among other things).  In a time when some of us struggle on how best to be disciples and help those who may suffer from institutionalized discrimination and oppression, let’s ask for the intercession of St Peter Claver to show us the way.


God Bless

Ana Maria Alvarado

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