Monday, June 04, 2001
Service honors late activist
By Jennifer Mrozowski
McCrackin remembered for nonviolent spirit
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The spirit of the late Rev. Maurice McCrackin came alive Sunday in St.
Joseph Catholic Church in the West End.
About 70 people of Christian, American Indian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and
Bahai faiths joined hands and hearts for the ecumenical service
Nonviolence, for Youth and Everyone.
The service capped Mac Day weekend a celebra tion to
honor the Rev. Mr. Mac McCrackin's life and work.
The fourth annual Mac Day was held Saturday, with a picnic in Laurel Park.
The event this year grew into Mac Day Weekend less than two months
after the worst riots here since 1968.
Retired minister Raymond Woodruff of United Church of Christ said the service
during a time of racial tension in Cincinnati harkened to the
ideology of the man everyone called Mac.
During the gathering, Rev. Woodruff called on the diverse faiths to follow
the Rev. Mr. McCrackin's message of non-violent but persistent activism.
Remember that we represent many different religions that have often
been at war with each other, the Rev. Mr. Woodruff said. And
here we are at peace ... We can and must join together in pursuit of truth
and justice and peace.
The Rev. Mr. McCrackin was a social activist who spent many years living
among the poor in the West End. He espoused nonviolence as he crusaded
against war, homelessness and nuclear waste through acts of civil
He died in 1997 at age 92, but his memory lives on through annual gatherings
to honor his memory and the causes he championed.
Many at the service said the Rev. Mr. McCrackin, if he were still alive,
would be leading the city's recent nonviolent protests.
At one point during the service, the Rev. Mr. McCrackin's picture fell down
and some people in the crowd exclaimed, His spirit is here.
Mildred Grinney, an 87-year-old Christian who lives downtown, said she had
never been to an ecumenical service before.
This is the way life should be, she said, looking around the
people dressed in sari and Kufi hats, quoting from the Bible and Koran.
We are all God's children.
©Copyright 2001, The Cincinnati Enquirer