“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dear Saint John’s Community,
I write to you today in the true spirit of one of the most important qualities of the Saint John’s Experience - Brotherhood. When we speak of Brotherhood, we speak about standing together with and for each other. We know that many in our community have had an exceptionally difficult time as we learn more about the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmuad Arbery, and George Floyd in the last few weeks.
Saint John’s High School continues to stand with the Xaverian Brothers, the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools, and the United States Bishops in condemning all forms of racism and prejudice. We reaffirm our commitment to educate for justice and the dignity of each person as a unique expression of God’s love. We will continue to pray, but prayer and reflection are only one step in the process that will bring the love of God into the world. This is a moment when each of us must use his or her own voice to speak out for justice and to act on its behalf.
XAVERIAN BROTHERS STATEMENT
The General Superior, Br. Daniel Skala, C.F.X. and the Xaverian Brothers shared with all Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools the following statement about racism, pledging to fight the sin of racial discrimination:
The Xaverian Brothers, Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools, associate members, and partners in mission join with all those who are disturbed by the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmuad Arbery in recent weeks. Our Fundamental Principles call us to give witness “to God’s care and compassionate love to all especially those who suffer from want, neglect and injustice.” We deplore racism in all its forms. This sin challenges us to raise our voices in support of the changes needed to bring about justice and compassion.
The international Xaverian community prays for the necessary conversion of minds and hearts required to accomplish this and supports the statement of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“We should not let it be said that George Floyd died for no reason. We should honor the sacrifice of his life by removing racism and hate from our hearts and renewing our commitment to fulfill our nations’ sacred promise – to be a beloved community of life, liberty, and equality for all."
As we observe Pentecost during this time of desolation and confusion, remember that “Jesus, your brother, has walked this path before you. In you, as Risen Lord, He wants to walk this path again, and His Spirit, the Spirit of God, now guides you.
- Brother Daniel Skala, C.F.X. | General Superior
WHAT CAN WE DO?
In these challenging times, it is important that we continue to engage with and educate our students. Most importantly, we should be available to them as they think through and process this difficult time.
We have identified several resources to support speaking about racism with our students. We are happy to offer some of them here.
Exceptional research and insight can be found in Jennifer Eberhardt's book, Biased
An incredible resource for adults by author and teacher Layla F. Saad
A readily accessible book on how to talk about race by writer and speaker Ijeoma Oluo
As we begin this summer, with many challenges swirling about us, I hope and pray that you and your family remain safe and healthy. May we, as a nation, find peace in the loving embrace of our Lord and that all of us at Saint John’s High School find comfort in our blessed community.
Be well and God bless,
Alex Zequeira P'19