I am very happy to make this very worthy effort visible to the ten or so people who read here. God bless the organizers and participants. Letter in full below:
Dear friends, St. Louisans, Catholics, Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Over the past few months, I can imagine that you, much like me, have been perplexed and at times overwhelmed by the strange and at times ominous events that have unfolded before us. In the past few weeks, I’m sure you have watched with a sense of unease as mobs of protesters have threatened violence to enact political change, to remove historic monuments, and to change the very fabric of our society.
Sadly, it would seem that these political movements have found themselves at home in our city. Recently, without much public notice, a historic statue of Christopher Columbus was removed from Tower Grove Park. This past week, a veteran political activist who has successfully campaigned to remove confederate statues in our city made headlines when he called for not only the removal of the statue of St. Louis on Art Hill, but also the changing of the city’s name.
In years past, calls like this have seemed absurd. Had it even been last year, I would never have taken it seriously. But I would have never thought that St. Junipero Serra would have been removed from San Francisco either. We must admit that, though it’s after Pentecost, these are not ordinary times, and those things which we may once have dismissed as too extraordinary have suddenly become all too possible.
Wherever you might fall politically, and whatever your opinions of the many other statues that have been removed, there are two things upon which we must be firm and resolute: threats of violence and destruction cannot be accepted as a legitimate political or cultural act, and St. Louis is not like any other statue.
St. Louis is not merely the patron of our city. This statue is not merely a beautiful work of art which represents our culture and our past. This fight isn’t just about our history. It doesn’t exist somewhere else, somewhere far away. This fight is here, it’s now, and it’s about our future. This statue does not only stand for a man, but stands for our devotion to God. As a saintly king, St. Louis does not merely represent the French heritage of this place, but even more he represents the Kingship of Christ on Earth that we pray for with every Our Father. This statue is and ought to remain as a testament to our faith. As St. Louis leads us on, we ought to follow in bringing Christ to our city through our faith, our prayer, and our actions.
With all this in mind, I humbly ask that you join us in a rosary campaign for the preservation of this indispensable statue in its place of honor in Forest Park and for peace and unity in our city. To begin with, we will be organizing a public rosary at the statue. Our first rosary will be at 6:30pm today, June 21, and we plan to pray the rosary together every day at 6:30 until this situation is resolved.
Please, don’t let this call end with you. Share this information with as many people as you think might be even remotely interested. We don’t all have to be there every day, but the more of us who pray together, the more Our Lady will hear our cries. With so much confusion and uncertainty in these times, we cannot think of anything else, nor anything better, than placing our trust in Our Lady, Queen of Peace. But let us also not leave our faith at prayer only. We know that Mary will hear us no matter what, but for our elected officials to hear us, we must be many. Even if you cannot join us in person, join us in action by calling the Mayor’s office and the Forest Park Forever Board of Trustees. Write letters too.
For those interested in working with us to restore the Christopher Columbus statue to Tower Grove Park, please email Andrew Thompson-Briggs at email@example.com and call Tower Grove Park.
When you share this email, please add your name, and remember, opus justitiae pax—“the work of justice shall be peace.” [Is. 32:17]
C. Andrew Thompson-Briggs
Mrs Nicole Merlo