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Church of St. Mary set to host Day of Dignity ceremony this weekend

WILLMAR — St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willmar will join other groups across the country on Saturday, which has been designated a National Day of Dignity and Respect for the Immigrant.

The Hispanic community of Willmar has invited area residents to gather for a bilingual prayer service at 3 p.m. Saturday in front of the Kandiyohi County Courthouse, 505 Becker Ave. S.W. in downtown Willmar.

The Rev. Jim Devorak, director of Hispanic ministry at the Church of St. Mary, said the gathering is not meant to be political.

“It’s just a very simple prayer service,” he said.

The hope is that the service may bring people’s attention to immigration issues, “so they can try to understand some of the issues.”

Similar gatherings will be held at the same time across the country, Devorak said.

On Thursday, there was no backup plan yet in case of rain, Devorak said. He was checking on the possibility of using a room in the City Auditorium but didn’t have confirmation yet.

The purpose of the Day of Dignity is to call attention to the need for “commonsense immigration reform” that could put an end to families separated by deportations. Observances are planned in more than 80 communities across the country.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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