Bishop Sample led a procession out of the Cathedral. The rosary was also prayed.
Newsdesk (October 19, 2020, Gaudium Press) — Portland, the largest city in the state of Oregon, in the U.S., is one of the cities that has been most affected by vandalism, through the protests triggered by the death of African-American George Floyd. Since Floyd’s death in May, the city’s streets have seen nighttime demonstrations: some peaceful, some not.
Procession, rosary and exorcism
The violent demonstrations taking place since May, the passing of two people in the context of the protests, the demolition of historical statues, and the tensions arising from the approaching elections seem to have taken a big toll on the population.
Mindful of these sad events, those who witnessed the procession leaving the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception lived moments of hope.
On Saturday, October 17, hundreds of people left the Cathedral in procession along Northwest Everett Street. Arriving upon a city Park, Archbishop Alexander K. Sample, led a rosary asking for God’s protection, and also performed a ritual of exorcism, in Latin.
“There is no better time than in the wake of civil unrest and the eve of the elections to come together in prayer, especially here in Portland,” said Archbishop Samplebefore the procession. The event was aired via streaming, followed by thousands of people.
“What we did contrasts with what has been going on in our city and all this disarray,” said Carolina Ruth Valdez, who attends St. Stephen’s Church in southeast Portland. “Jesus is the Prince of Peace. No Jesus, no peace.”
Mary Miller, who belongs to St. Pius X Parish in Portland, said the anti-religion undertones of Portland protests worry her.
“We know we need a lot more prayer, a lot more conversation about this,” Miller told the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland. “What is happening is not the right way to go about it. The church has the answer. It’s always going back to first things. What are the first principles and what is our foundation in faith? I think that will address a lot of the confusion today,” Miller said.
Just in case the procession had to face opposing protestors, nine large Knights of Columbus from St. Anthony’s parish in Tigard stood with their eyes open. But in the end, all went well, in the words of Scott Tyoung, who led the vigilante group. In fact, those who watched the procession were usually delighted and asked Tyoung for more details.
Portland police officer Stephen Le was also part of the procession, as he piously fingered his red rosary. Le grew up at Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Portland and belongs to Christ the King Parish in the suburb of Milwaukie.
With information from CNS and the Catholic Sentinel