On Saturday, Sept. 10, the St. Louis North City Deanery sponsored a Year of Mercy Pilgrimage, Crossing the Delmar Divide. In St. Louis, Delmar Boulevard runs east and west and is considered the dividing line between white and black housing, business and recreation. Nine Catholic churches and one community center are north of Delmar (the side that is majority black).
The pilgrims, 300 of us, only walked a little more than a mile, not the 10 or 12 miles it would have taken to visit all the churches. Parishioners, students, priests and sisters, mostly white, began at St. Louis University and walked north across Delmar. Then we walked west and south again to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis which is a member of the North City Deanery (though south of Delmar). We paused six times during the pilgrimage to pray for church unity, justice and the grace to act justly and with mercy.
At the cathedral, we entered through the Door of Mercy, singing "Amazing Grace." Then we went next door to Catholic Charities for lunch while preparations continued in the cathedral for the funeral of Phyllis Schlafly, which was attended by Donald Trump.
During the walk we prayed the Beatitudes, the Works of Mercy and the Anyway Litany which doesn’t have any attribution in the program but which I'm including here for its perceptive humor and simple prescriptions:
Leader: People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Response: Forgive them anyway.
From our sister publication: GSR in the Classroom is a supplementary curriculum for use in Catholic middle and high schools and faith formation programs. Learn more.
L: If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
R: Be kind anyway.
L: If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
R: Succeed anyway.
L: If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
R: Be honest and frank anyway.
L: What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
R: Build anyway.
L: If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous.
R: Be happy anyway.
L: The good you do today, people may forget tomorrow.
R: Do good anyway.
L: Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
R: Give the world the best you have anyway.
L: You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God.
R: It was never between you and them anyway.