Monday, May 31, 2010

Belated Peace Activist of the Previous Week- James Groppi

James Groppi (1930-1985) was a Catholic priest and a civil right's activist. Groppi came in contact with the Civil Right's movement in Milwaukee. He was transferred to a parish there, St. Boniface, which was made up of mostly African-American congregants. He joined several marches including the several in Salem during 1965 and the March on Washington in 1963. When he returned to Milwaukee, he was an adviser to the NAACP Youth Council and organized protests against the segregation practices of the Milwaukee school system.

He also organized protests for fair housing laws, for the end of cuts to Welfare Mothers, and picketed judges who were part of the (at the time) all-white group Fraternal Order of Eagles.

His superiors did not always approve of his activities, and he gradually became disappointed with the Church. He later left the priesthood to marry and father three children although he never left his Catholic faith altogether.

For the peaceful manner in which he choose to "fight" for the rights of others, I salute James Groppi as my peace activist of the week.

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