While the main theme of our summer issue is the response of the Catholic Charities ministry to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s difficult not to mention the terrible tragedy of the killing of George Floyd.
Mr. Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer points to a deeper and more persistent disease among us: the sin of racism. Catholic Charities USA denounced immediately the killing and urged Congress “to pursue a holistic and integrated approach to racial justice” (Read the full letter here. Also read the updated edition of CCUSA’s policy paper, “Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good,” here.)
On June 19, 2020, Sister Donna invited CCUSA board members and staff to a virtual Juneteenth prayer service to commemorate the freedom of African American slaves in the United States.
Together we asked God to give us a deep conversion of heart; the wisdom, insight, and courage to reject hatred and racism; and the strength to change our nation through loving, personal care of each other. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Perhaps the pandemic, which has heightened the importance of individual responsibility for the common good, can point us in the right direction toward fighting racism. If I want to help stop the spread in the community, then I need to make the appropriate changes in my own behavior and way of thinking first.
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