Jun. 1: Tragic Events in our Nation
Fr. John writes regarding the losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and racial injustice.
Dear Members of the Stonehill Community,
These have been terribly tragic days as we mourn the losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Once again, we must confront the hard truths about racial inequities and injustices that impact people of color throughout our country.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this past weekend, houses of worship opened once again for people to join in communal prayer. This opening was marked with such a heaviness of heart, as we remember the lives taken so senselessly.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops shared the following words:
“We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes.... 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."
I ask all members of the Stonehill community to reflect on these words, as our students, staff, and faculty of color continue to experience unimaginable fear, grief, and pain.
As an institution anchored by a belief in the inherent dignity of each person, I believe each day we must work more diligently to embody this principle to build a more diverse and inclusive campus. This is a critical time for us to demonstrate solidarity with colleagues and students of color, who face discrimination and injustice and too often carry a disproportionate burden in building momentum for change.
During this heartrending moment for our country, and in particular for our Black community members, I pray that each of us find the courage to address acts of racial injustice that we witness in the course of our daily lives and seek to bring healing to the wounds that afflict our nation.
(Rev.) John Denning, C.S.C.