Multifaith vigils mark law's debut
BY ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Children ran around in their
Halloween costumes, while parents and other adults stood nearby, watching sadly and quietly.
Nearly 1,000 people attended a
Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Wednesday night,
with the crowd pouring into the
Earlier, leaders from several
faiths prayed together with about
100 people during a vigil at the plaza level of City Hall downtown.
These were the scenes around
Tulsa Wednesday evening as community members of all ethnic and
religious backgrounds prepared for House Bill 1804 to take effect on Thursday.
The Rev. Luis Carlos Sanchez of the United Church of
Religious Science led the
candlelight vigil, joined by
nearly 30 clergy members.
"We are people from all
faith traditions, denominations," Sanchez said. "Our
faith will bring light to this
moment of social darkness."
Bishop Edward J. Slattery
of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa said a prayer in
Spanish for the crowd.
"I was asking that God forgive our sins from all over the
world, especially with wars,"
Slattery said afterward. "I
asked that we resort to charity and love."
Darell Christopher of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry led
the crowd in singing the civil
rights anthem "We Shall
"Hopefully, people will
know this is about the treatment of human beings,"
Christopher said. "It's about
justice and humanity."
David Bernstein of the
Jewish Federation of Tulsa
said the event reminded him
of the 1960s.
"I remember our meeting
on Main Street and Archer
and in Greenwood and wondering what would happen to
our black brothers," he said.
"The civil rights movement
continues on. It does not
stop. . . . If we are not together, good people in faith, we
The Quran teaches that
people should give food and
greetings to both people you
know and those you don't
know, said Priscilla Reem
Khader, who is Muslim.
"As Americans, we have a
moral duty to care for all
mankind," she said. "Everything we have, including this
land, is from God and ultimately, everything belongs
The last time St. Francis
Xavier, 2434 E. Admiral
Blvd., had such a big crowd
was three years ago for Our
Lady of Guadalupe feast, said
attendee Armando Cardenas,
18, of Tulsa.
He said that while many of
his friends will be leaving
Oklahoma, he's staying.
"I am legal, so I plan to stay
and do what I can to help," he
said. "These children -- innocent people without their
parents -- they don't know
their parents are illegal. They
don't understand what's going on."
Althea Peterson 581-8361
Leonarda Chihuahua of St. Thomas More Catholic Church raises a
candle during a candlelight vigil Wednesday night outside City Hall.
The event was held to protest House Bill 1804, the state anti-illegal