By Alice Kenny
Esaw Garner sobbed at the interfaith prayer service held in Staten Island on July 14 to commemorate the one-year-anniversary of the tragic death of her husband, Eric Garner.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined fellow leaders, family and friends to honor Mr. Garner who died after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold after attempting to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. Mayor Bill de Blasio and local politicians, Rev. Al Sharpton and interfaith leaders, police officers, friends and family stood among the crowd that packed Mount Sinai United Christian Church.
Together they gathered to search for meaning in this death that sparked a movement.
John Woods, Editor and Chief of Catholic New York, reports the words of Cardinal Dolan in the homily he gave at the service:
‘Could the grief that began a year ago just down the street from here and seemed to ooze like a toxic oil spill to places like Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, and Brooklyn and beyond…be an occasion of repentance and renewal?’ Cardinal Dolan asked.
‘Could our yearlong trial be an opening for God to transform us, from death to life, from despair to hope, from winter to spring?’
The cardinal suggested it could, but that we must first acknowledge God’s supremacy in our lives and place our faith and hope in him as we love one another.