Our Bishop, Oscar Cantú, released a statement saying:
"We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our eyes." The senseless taking of life defies the fundamental principle of justice and respect for human life. We must recognize the fact that all lives are sacred. As Catholics, it is not enough to relegate our concern to only thoughts and prayers. Our church, at every level, must speak out unequivocally and work against the sin of racism.
As the US Bishops stated in their recent pastoral letter against racism, "Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love," people of good will must never turn a blind eye when citizens are being deprived of their human dignity and even their lives. Indifference is not an option. They state: "It is not a secret that... attacks on human life have severely affected people of color, who are disproportionally affected by poverty, targeted for abortion, have less access to healthcare, have the greatest numbers on death row, and are most likely to feel pressure to end their lives when facing serious illness. As bishops, we unequivocally state that racism is a life issue" (p. 30)."
While we discern the call to action in our own hearts, as a Presentation community, we are firmly committed to standing in solidarity with communities who are marginalized, especially the Black community, and persevere against racism and any other system of oppression which go against our values rooted in justice, love and mercy.
On Monday, June 1 at 3pm, our faculty gathered to pray for the repose of the souls of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many more who have been harmed by racist treatment. As members of the Presentation family, we ask that each one of you join us spiritually in prayer by reciting A Prayer For Mercy with your family or on your own.
In addition, we invite you to our Prayer Vigil for Justice via Zoom on Friday, June 5 at 12pm, to unite as a Presentation community in prayer, and to provide space for voices to speak out and discern our unique roles in enacting systemic change. All are welcome - please RSVP here by the evening of Wed., June 3, so we can anticipate the number of attendees and we will email you the Zoom login information on Thurs., June 4.
Whether you can join us or not, please know of our prayers for your health and safety during these tumultuous times.