"Racism is a sin; a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.” Brothers and Sisters to Us, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1979
As a Catholic community, we at St. Paul VI Catholic High School value the human dignity of every person. Our school motto, and a guiding principle at the core of our mission, is to “Grow in Grace and Wisdom.” As our nation mourns the death of George Floyd, and many other people of color in recent weeks, an opportunity exists for us to grow in grace and wisdom in how we respond to these tragedies.
The burden of addressing racism and long-standing injustices cannot fall specifically on people of color. It is necessary for every member of the PVI Family to use what we know about the dignity of the human person to inform how we treat one another and be positive forces for change.
To make the world better, we need to better ourselves. We need to look inward and examine our own thoughts, motives and possible prejudices; we need to listen, to educate ourselves, to engage in uncomfortable conversations; we need to learn from each other.
We must ask – how can I help? How can I be part of the solution?
“If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
As Catholics, we have the duty to respond to prejudice, discrimination, and injustice, and we must do so with Christ as our example. The call to Live Jesus should inform how we respond – with compassion, with prayer, and with hearts open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Head of School
From our Chaplain, Fr. Schultz
Are we not all gripped with outrage and disgust over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody on May 25? We mourn his untimely passing. We long for justice and peace. We decry racism and every affront to human dignity. We pray for the repose of Mr. Floyd’s soul, for his family, and all victims of racial hatred and violence. Our prayer matters. As Jesus says in the Gospel of John, we can do nothing without Him. We must pray that we may heal and grow. Our prayer not only obtains the grace and help that we all need, but also allows the Holy Spirit to form our hearts to be more like the heart of Jesus. We pray so that we may, as our motto goes, Live Jesus.
What’s wrong with the world? In answer to this question, the British philosopher and author, G.K. Chesterton, wrote, “I am.” This isn’t to say that we are each personally accountable for the death of Mr. Floyd. We are not. We are, however, responsible for loving God with all our might and for loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are liable for the ways we fall short. We have a duty to each other to desire and strive for goodness. Living Jesus is treating those around us as brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Don’t be without hope. Jesus, who says we are fully dependent on Him, also says, “For God all things are possible” (Matthew 9:24). Begin with prayer – with a daily, personal, loving commitment to unite our hearts to Jesus.
I encourage all of you to listen to the Gospel and homily from today’s Mass, linked here