Archbishop of San Francisco to launch ‘Martyrs of Communism’ campaign in Miami

A marker commemorating the Ukrainian martyrs of the 20th century stands at Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, Ohio.

This Friday, March 15, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will launch his “Martyrs of Communism” campaign with a mass featuring a professional choir at Miami’s Church of the Epiphany (you can get free tickets to the mass HERE). The 16-voice choir will be directed Richard Carrillo and will perform Frank La Rocca’s Requiem for the Forgotten.

The aim of Archbishop Cordileone’s campaign is to stress the importance of learning from the past atrocities committed by communism so future generations will not fall victim to this deadly ideology.

Via Aleteia:

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone this Friday will launch the “Martyrs of Communism” project, a multi-media effort using liturgy, art, history, journalism, and educational curricula to bring greater awareness of the many martyrs of the faith under Marxist governments around the globe.

To mark the project’s beginning, Archbishop Cordileone will celebrate a liturgy at the Church of the Epiphany in South Miami, Florida. Composer Frank La Rocca’s Requiem for the Forgotten will be premiered during the liturgy.


In an interview with Aleteia, Archbishop Cordileone discussed his interest in the martyrs of Communism and his plans for making them better known:

Your Excellency, what got you interested in this subject, the victims of communism?

Two things happened at the same time: We commissioned a hymn for Ukraine for the latest magnificent new Requiem Mass for the Forgotten, which honors all those who die homeless whether through war, natural disaster or totalitarian regimes; or poverty, addiction and mental illness. As we looked at the Ukrainian martyrs and white martyrs (those who suffer the brutalities of war and persecution but manage to survive it), we realized that of course they were all persecuted by Soviet communism.

At the same time, I am bringing China’s Jimmy Lai and his courageous witness to the attention of our seminarians. Maggie Gallagher, [the Benedict XVI Institute’s] executive director, suggested we commission a Hymn to the Martyrs of Chinese Communism. These two small projects raised the larger question: Why is the heroic witness of Catholic martyrs (and white martyrs) facing godless totalitarian ideologies not well-known in America?

Thus was launched a new three-to-five year project to tell the stories of these heroes of the Faith through the arts: literature, poetry, plays, journalism, videos, music. Of course, for us as Catholics, the highest calling of the arts is to serve the liturgy.

You can read more about the “Martyrs of Communism” campaign and the rest of the interview with Archbishop Cordileone HERE.

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