NewsPinellas County


Diocese of St. Petersburg holds vigil inviting people to peacefully protest and pray

Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 07, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sisters Naomi and Tabatha Garcia wanted to protest for racial justice peacefully and wanted to do it somewhere they felt safe.

"It's where me and my sister really connected with God. We want to pray, but we also wanted to get out here and do something," said Tabatha.

That’s why Bishop Gregory Parkes invited anyone who wanted to come to the Diocese of St. Petersburg to peacefully protest and pray.

"We’re praying for conversion of mind and heart for those who still have racial feelings within them," said Parkes.

Protestors kneeled in an 8-minute silent prayer in respect for George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis officer put his knee on his neck for 8 minutes, killing him.

"We must start with prayer. If we look at anything that has brought about change and justice and civil rights it has always begun with prayer. It has always begun in the church," said Father Stephan Brown SVD Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic church in St. Petersburg.

Families, and people young and old lined the streets in front of the church with signs to show support of black lives matter.

"I would ask our community in Tampa/ St. Petersburg to continue to pray, not only to pray but to act and to bring about change not only locally but here in our country too, that will once and for all put an end to racism," said Parkes.