Cathedral to hold Philando Castile’s funeral

| July 12, 2016 | 6 Comments

Valerie Castile, left, speaks at a July 12 press conference. Standing next to her is her attorney, Judge Glenda Hatchett. Castile is the mother of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a police officer July 6. Maria Wiering/The Catholic Spirit

Editor’s note: Updated July 13 with comments from Archbishop Hebda and information about the funeral procession.

A funeral service for Philando Castile will be held at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul at noon July 14.

Philando’s mother, Valerie Castile, requested to hold the service at the Cathedral because she wished the funeral to be an ecumenical opportunity for “people to come together in a new way” and pray for peace and reconciliation, according to a July 12 statement from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The service will not be a Mass, as Philando was from a non-Catholic Christian tradition, according to the archdiocese. At a July 12 press conference on the Minnesota State Capitol lawn, spokespeople for the family said the Castiles are part of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in St. Paul, and that its pastor, Steve Daniels Jr., plans to deliver a eulogy. Father John Ubel, the Cathedral’s rector, will preside at the funeral.

The funeral’s prayers will focus on the preservation of peace, justice and reconciliation.

“The Catholic Church believes that burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy, and of particular importance in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, as declared by Pope Francis,” the archdiocese stated.

Speaking at the press conference, Valerie Castile said she wanted her son’s funeral to be held at the Cathedral “because he was a king.”

“My son is a king, and he is also a martyr, so I thought that was the best place for his services,” she said.

Judge Glenda Hatchett, an Atlanta-based attorney and former TV host of “Judge Hatchett,” who is representing the family, said the family is grateful to Archbishop Bernard Hebda for his support.

A procession will begin at the Brooks Funeral Home in St. Paul at 9:30 a.m. and end at the Cathedral. A viewing will be held from 10 am. to noon.

In a July 13 statement, Archbishop Hebda said that “the archdiocese was honored that Philando Castile’s mother, desiring that her son’s funeral be  an opportunity for ‘people to come together in a new way,’ thought our Cathedral could be a fitting setting for an ecumenical service at which our community could unite with her family to pray for peace and reconciliation.”

He pointed to Pope Francis’ Sept. 9, 2015, general audience, in which the pontiff said, “The assembly of Jesus takes the form of a family and of a hospitable family, not an exclusive, closed sect.”

“At this difficult moment we feel privileged to have the opportunity to offer hospitality to the Castile family and to our hurting community,” Archbishop Hebda said. “We are praying that our Cathedral might serve as a place where all might encounter a God who offers consolation and hope.”

Philando Castile, 32, who was black, died July 6 after being shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. His death has prompted demonstrations across the Twin Cities drawing attention to racism and officer-involved shootings of black men.



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