The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, joining with global activists, clergy, and revolutionary thinkers, celebrated the life and legacy of The Most Reverend Archbishop Tutu in a memorial service on Sunday, Feb. 13. The service was live-streamed, with limited in-person attendance.

Archbishop Tutu, known throughout the world for preaching a gospel of radical reconciliation and truth-telling, first spoke at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1986 to thank Americans for protesting against apartheid, and to raise awareness for South African refugee funds.

Congressman Charlie Rangel Credit: Cathedral of St. John the Divine photo
Ambassador Nomaindiya Cathleen Mfeketo Credit: Cathedral of St. John the Divine photo
Head of School Erica Corbin Credit: Cathedral of St. John the Divine photo

After the Archbishop’s passing in December 2021, the world mourned the loss of this great human rights activist and theologian, with politicians and activists joining with outpourings of remembrance.

In honor of Archbishop Tutu’s legacy and memory, the Cathedral’s memorial service included a sermon by The Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Speakers included The Honorable Charles B. Rangel; The Honorable Nomaindiya Cathleen Mfeketo, Ambassador of South Africa to the United States; The Honorable Mathu Joyini, permanent representative of South Africa to the United Nations; and The Honorable Abdulla Shahid, president of the United Nations General Assembly. The service was presided over and celebrated by The Right Reverend Andrew Dietsche, bishop of the Diocese of New York, and The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel, dean of the Cathedral.

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