Catholics, along with people of all faiths, observed the 50th anniversary of the death of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 2018. He was shot at the Loraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray in 1968. King was known for his dedication to non-violent protest and his soaring oratory.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) joined in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering Dr. King by tolling the Shrine’s bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived. Numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolled bells in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.
The USCCB also issued a statement in honor of Dr. King. The statement highlights the inspiration of Dr. King and urges Catholics to be courageous in defending the dignity of our neighbor who is made in the image of God.