Dear St. Cecilia Community,
In considering the tragic events that have been unfolding in our nation and our city, I am deeply saddened and have grappled with what to say. No words can provide a sufficient response when we witness, on any level, man’s inhumanity to man. The St. Cecilia Academy community joins our country as together we mourn the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd. We also pray for peace and justice in our city and nation, begging God to transform the hearts of each one of us so that, despite any differences between us, we can recognize in every person a soul of infinite dignity and worth, a brother or sister in Christ.
I have been speaking with a number of faculty and staff about St. Cecilia Academy’s responsibility to do our part to work towards unity, understanding, and respect for all persons regardless of race or creed. While recognizing that our efforts may never be perfect this side of heaven, we desire as a community to grow in the patient work of dialogue that seeks unity amid diversity and resolves conflict with Christ’s peace. We are proposing initiatives to encourage formation and dialogue as part of our upcoming strategic plan, and we also welcome the opportunity and privilege to listen to current and past students so that together we can continue to build a civilization of love where the dignity of each human person is honored.
This kind of supernatural vision is not something we can attain on our own. Perhaps it was no accident that the heart-breaking tensions and unrest we experienced in our city became especially manifest this past weekend on the vigil of Pentecost. This great feast recalls to us how the power of the Holy Spirit transformed weak and sinful men into powerful messengers of the Gospel. Today, too, we must beg the Holy Spirit for the grace of a new Pentecost so that the fire of God’s love can fill our hearts and cast out fear, prejudice, and division. A powerful statement released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us of our responsibility as Christians: “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.” (Click here for the complete text of Statement of U.S. Bishop Chairmen in Wake of Death of George Floyd and National Protests)
May the God who has sent us an advocate, the Holy Spirit, assist each one of us and all of us together to translate the Gospel message into fruitful action, strengthening the bond of peace and transforming our world from the inside out.
Sincerely in Christ,
Sister Anna Laura, O.P.