Religious Formation Conference

The Religious Formation Conference (RFC) is a national Roman Catholic organization serving religious institutes of women and men with programs and services for those in the ministry of initial and lifelong formation, and general congregational membership.

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RFC to Participate in National Day of Mourning and Lament on June 1

As we mark the death of 100,000 people in the U.S. from COVID-19, an unprecedented group of 100+ national faith leaders—from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions representing major denominations, national faith-based organizations, local congregations, and millions of people of faith across the country—call for a National Day of Mourning and Lament. Together, they look to federal, state, and local elected officials to observe Monday, June 1 as National Day of Mourning and Lament, a day marked by moments of silence, lowering of flags, interfaith vigils, ringing of bells, and civic memorials.

Together, interfaith leaders and mayors across the nation will call us to mourn, lament, and honor the dead, acknowledge the unequal nature of our suffering, pray together for the healing of the nation, and recommit to the difficult work ahead.

This call is being supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors who represent over 1,400 mayors across the country. Mayors lead on the frontline of the COVID-19 response effort and continue to model critical local leadership amid this difficult time. 

The RFC is partnering with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and other Catholic faith leaders calling for all people to spend time during the weekend of May 29-31 to lament and mourn the 100,000 persons who will have died in the United States from COVID-19, and to pause at noon on Monday, June 1 to honor the deceased. 

This initiaitves invites the following ways to stand in solidarity with those that we have lost:

1.       Mark the grim milestone on Sunday (Pentecost) in your own celebration of the Eucharist or common prayer and encourage others to do the same. 

2.       Contact your elected officials, mayors, governors, and members of Congress and ask them to designate Monday, June 1 a National Day of Mourning and Lament-- remembering the dead with moments of silence, lowering of flags, interfaith vigils, and civic memorials.

3.       Use social media and other communication platforms to post prayers and laments, names, photos, and tributes to those who have died of the coronavirus during the days leading up to June 1. Hashtags #DayofMourning and #Lament100k can be used.

Our lament will also honor the hard truths we have learned during this pandemic: our suffering has been unequal. Elders, black and brown neighbors, native communities, refugees and immigrants have borne disproportionately the brunt of sickness and death. Our prayers for the healing of the nation must acknowledge the brokenness of our democracy and call us to repair the injustices this pandemic has revealed.

On Friday, with Ramadan finished, Muslims will remember the reception of the Quran. On Friday and Saturday, Jews will remember God's covenant as they celebrate Shavuot and read their yizkhor (remembrance) prayers. On Sunday, Christians will celebrate Pentecost, when the first Christians were given courage through the reception of the Holy Spirit.

Together we will name, honor, lament, and offer our tributes to the lives, families, and communities of those who have died. 

On Monday, June 1 at noon local time, all are encouraged to join the civic community and pause once more to remember those who have died. It will be appropriate for flags to be lowered and to observe moments of silence, prayer, reflection, and bell-ringing.

As spiritual leaders we are called to help lead our congregations, communities, and country in this time of grief and lament in a way that will lead us forward more united as a country to address the very real challenges we face ahead. And we know that we can only do that together.

RFC

5401 S. Cornell Ave. Suite 304
Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773.675.8362
Email: rfc@relforcon.org
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