June 7, 2020
Dear People of God,
As I write to you today, so much has changed while, in the same context, there are important issues about what what remains the same.
I fully expected to be sharing our experiences of the first few days of reopening the Cathedral. We were ready with a safe and sacred space for you to begin returning for private prayer. However, circumstances in our city called for a postponement.
While the delay was a disappointment, I see it as an opportunity. We often wonder if we can make a difference in the world. A father, a brother, a son named George Floyd is making a world-wide difference by causing conversations that we couldn't seem to have before.
The cost to Mr. Floyd is unthinkably horrible, as this did not have to happen. The video we have either seen or heard about will haunt us as he begged for mercy. We continue to pray for his soul and grieve with his family and friends.
In the short term, there is a demand for justice. But God also calls us to find a deeper meaning in this tragedy. Amid the protests, now in nearly 400 American cities and across the globe, the messages of change and equality need to be heard.
In his prayer for the repose of George Floyd's soul, Pope Francis said on Wednesday, "My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life."
We are called to reflect on and take a stand about the systemic racism that allows some of our brothers and sisters to be targeted and persecuted based on the color of their skin. It is more than prayers. We must take steps to educate and encourage conversations for understanding, acceptance and reform.
Please reflect on what you can do to begin our city and nation's healing and real change. This is a conversation that is just beginning.
In the meantime, Holy Name Cathedral remains closed for just a short while longer. We intend to open our doors on Wednesday, June 10 at 8:00am for private prayer. The schedule for the first five days is listed below.
God's blessings to all of you and stay safe...
One with you,