On Sunday, March 9, we lifted up in prayer the 31 SJAers who are traveling to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to serve and learn from the Lakota people. We also were blessed to be joined by local community leader and educator Mitch Walking Elk as our incredible guest musician and by four powerful young Native people with whom Mitch is traveling to Rome to meet with Pope Francis later this summer or fall. The delegation from the Twin Cities is part of an ongoing effort urging the Vatican to repeal the Papal Bulls of Discovery. A previous delegation wrote the following:
"We undertake the long march to Rome to remember the countless millions of indigenous worldwide who for 500 years have suffered and died through the wars, forced resettlement, disease and conquest justified by two papal orders or bulls, issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1455 and Pope Alexander VI in 1493. These papal bulls are the 'blueprints' for the Age of Discovery since they granted explorers the absolute right to: '..invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed' and to 'reduce their persons to perpetual slavery'."
These papal bulls have never been revoked.
More than 40 people gathered in the Upper Room after mass to learn more about these documents, which were the defense and catalyst for such unimaginable suffering, and to learn more about the journey ahead for Mitch and these young leaders. We were proud to welcome them to SJA and grateful for their witness, and we look forward to hearing from them again when they return. They asked us to send them prayers and energy as they prepare - we will do that!