Funeral for a brave editor
FREE Catholic Classes
You remember the tragic story about the murder of Chauncey Bailey, the editor of a weekly newspaper in Oakland, Calif., killed on Aug. 2 as he was walking to work. Police quickly made arrests following the slaying, which they think was related to a critical article Bailey was working on about an Oakland organization suspected of criminal activity.
But not as many people read about Bailey's funeral, and about the themes of love and hope delivered in his pastor's eulogy. I saw it in a story by Jacob Buckenmeyer, and that's where the Christopher message came in. Let me share it with you.
Chauncey Bailey was not only a parishioner of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Oakland; he and the pastor, Father Jay Matthews, were the best of friends. Both men happen to be African-American, and the Oakland Post which Bailey edited primarily serves Oakland's black community. At the funeral Mass on Aug. 8, Father Matthews emphasized that Bailey died trying to make not only that community, but all of Oakland, a better place to live.
Apparently it was quite a ceremony. The church normally seats about 400, but upwards of 700 people crowded inside that day. Hundreds more stood outside. The Association of Black Journalists sent a delegation, and some 80 members of Bailey's family, from all over the country, were on hand.
Everyone there heard quite a eulogy. It had special significance for those of us connected to the media, and even more so for anyone with a tie to The Christophers. A brief quotation from the story indicates how closely Father Matthews echoed the words of The Christophers' founder, Maryknoll Father James Keller:
"Father Matthews likened Bailey's death to a kind of martyrdom and said he hoped it would help young people to consider making a difference through the 'vocation of journalism.'" (When he founded The Christophers in 1945, Father Keller urged people to make a positive difference in the world by following careers in the fields that most influence culture and society - one of which was mass communications.)
Father Matthews said that Bailey's commitment to journalism was most of all a belief in what his community could accomplish if he provided them with meaningful information. He continued: "His legacy to this community is first that we must be committed to one another. He always went after the kind of information people could understand and appreciate. The love that he had for his faith and for his community certainly came out in the work that he did."
I think that while Father Keller - who, coincidentally, was a native of Oakland - would have been saddened at Bailey's senseless death, he also would have rejoiced that the editor spent his career trying to influence others to change the world for the better. As he wrote in his 1948 best-seller, You Can Change the World: "A positive, personal love of all, even of those who hate, is absolutely essential. Complaining and criticizing accomplish little or nothing. A Christopher spends his time improving, not disapproving, because he knows that it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."
Chauncey Bailey spent his life in the finest Christopher tradition. May he rest in peace.
- - -
Dennis Heaney is president of The Christophers.
- - -
For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, "Standing Up for Standards," write: The Christophers, 12 East 48th St., New York, N.Y. 10017; or e-mail: email@example.com.
Dennis Heaney - ,
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Friday, April 19, 2019
- 'Living Lent': EASTER SUNDAY - HE IS RISEN!
- 'Living Lent': Holy Saturday
- 'Living Lent': Good Friday
- Daily Reading for Sunday, April 21st, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Saturday, April 20th, 2019 HD Video
- St. Alphege: Saint of the Day for Friday, April 19, 2019
- Daily Reading for Friday, April 19th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, April 18th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.