Today is the feast of the Spanish Jesuit priest, Peter Claver, patron of the missions to African peoples and defender of human rights: the Apostle of Cartagena.  He ministered in Cartagena, Colombia to the African people who were brought across the Atlantic to be slaves.  His ministry began by entering the ships’ holds and providing basic care focused on the dignity of each person on the ship.  In addition to direct ministry, he advocated for the basic human rights of the enslaved people.

Although slavery has been outlawed for over a century, how often do we find ourselves with an “us v. them” mentality?  Who we consider “them” may be someone of a different race, religion, political party, country of origin, or socioeconomic class, but that mentality causes division among us.  

Today, who is someone you can reach out to and engage in conversation, despite some perceived difference?

—The Jesuit prayer team