Recent events, especially the death of George Floyd, have moved us to humble perplexity with the acknowledgment that racism still exists. The protests over his death and of others needlessly killed, have caused us to have troubled hearts and to pray for guidance. As a Catholic institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the St. Joseph’s Academy community is called to move always “toward love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.”
In the readings proclaimed for the Solemnity of Pentecost, celebrated this past Sunday, St. Paul’s message echoes throughout our halls with “Not I, But We.” He says, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ” (1 Cor. 12:12). A core tenet of our Eucharist participation, this unifying love of Christ binds us together and beckons us to reach beyond ourselves to advocate for all peoples. No human joy, no human sorrow, no human suffering allows the complacency of indifference to the community established by this Holy Spirit. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).
Consistent with the message of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we call upon Catholics to pray and act as instruments of the Holy Spirit. “Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient. It is a real and present danger that must be met head-on. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.”
We invite you to join us in prayer as we continue the mission of Christ by seeking justice and peace in the world. May the victims of racism and violence know freedom and relief from oppression. May God dissolve any hatred in our human hearts as we grow to understand how hatred is its own bondage. May we be shown how to turn our hearts toward justice and overcome indifference as we establish a season of peace called and empowered by the living God in the person of Christ Jesus.
To read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“Statement of U.S. Bishop Chairmen in Wake of George Floyd and National Protests,” please click here
Regina E. Mooney, Ph.D.
President of St. Joseph's Academy