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Stephen D. Minnis, President of Benedictine College, issued the following statement about prayer and action to end racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent riots in American cities.
June 3 is the feast of Charles Lwanga and the Ugandan martyrs. In 1964, their canonization was a timely reminder that the global Catholic Church, which embraces the world’s races and cultures, is a model of diversity. We pray that through the intercession of Our Lady and St. Charles and companions, all people will grow in mutual respect and love, and that our hearts will be touched to eliminate the scourge of racism.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, we join the U.S. bishops’ plea that “Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded, and we are not doing enough to point out that this deadly treatment is antithetical to the Gospel of Life.”
At Benedictine College, our mission is to educate within a community of faith and scholarship. The searing images —of the murder, of the violence, of the rage and pain — remind us that this mission needs to be embraced as both a challenge and an aspiration.
As a Catholic college, we are called to transform culture by honoring the infinite dignity of every human person and the sacredness of every human life. As a Benedictine college, we are called to greet everyone we meet as Jesus Christ himself.
As a community, we can and we must recommit to heeding these calls, overcoming our differences and treating each person we encounter as a child of God.
Join us in prayer and action for hope and healing in America.