My Brothers and Sisters,
It has been brought to my attention that I, the leader of our parish family, have not taken the time to address the challenging subject of racism, the tragic death of George Floyd, the protests and the riots and the violence that have erupted around the country, and even in our own city. I have not intentionally side-stepped this conversation, but as a black man from another country, I find it difficult to know what to say in the few moments I have while I am with you.
The riots and violence that have erupted in this country are heartbreaking. But perhaps what is even more tragic is that these events are repeated over and over again.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” But he went on to explain, “Riots do not develop out of thin air,” but there are conditions that exist, “in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots.”
It is a sad truth that racism is alive and well in this country.
The USCCB (see link below) said, “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.”
The African American people in this great nation have the right to expect and receive the same treatment as their white brothers and sisters. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. Our Catholic Social Teaching proclaims that every life is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of a society is whether it threatens or enhances human life and dignity.
My brothers and sisters, indifference is not an option. There are many who have never experienced the pain of racism. This difficult and often uncomfortable topic requires open and honest conversations. We all need to be willing to work for justice if we expect peace.
I pray that the Holy Spirit gives all of us the guidance we need to be part of the solution to heal our city, state, and nation, not just for today, but for the future.
I will be offering a special
Mass next Sunday, June 14, at 2:00pm for the healing and unity in our community and country
. I invite you to join me in person* or online as we walk together and pray together for justice.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Father Daniel Malingumu
* Reservations are required to attend Mass in person. Reservations for Sunday, June 14, will open on Wednesday, June 10.