Dear Sisters and Brothers –
In our Penitential Act last Sunday, in light of the widespread calls for racial justice that were (and still are) blanketing our nation, we acknowledged that such change will not come in an authentic and lasting way until we experience an individual and collective conversion of heart. Such conversion must be an act of the will, which begins with and is sustained only by God’s grace. It is also aided by community, being accompanied by and accompanying others on the same journey, others who are making the same choice.
At our monthly Leadership Night last Tuesday, the members of our Mercy & Justice and our Faith Formation commissions discussed the issue of racial injustice, its complexities, and how St. Ignatius Parish might engage. At the end of the evening, they firmly placed all of this on the agenda of the Parish Council for the coming year, to self-educate and to listen, to pray and to discern, and then to act, in order that our entire parish might self-educate, listen, pray, discern and then act. The Parish Council will begin its work at the first meeting of the new year on July 2. (The individual commissions will also engage their own work on this topic.) I believe that this journey has begun with God’s grace; I ask your prayers that we remain open to the grace to sustain it.
Not surprisingly, this all-important issue has been in the mind and on the hearts of my Jesuit Community. We, too, are aware of our need for conversion, a change of our hearts that also leads to action. As one way of holding ourselves accountable and of declaring our solidarity with those who have suffered and are suffering from the grave injustice of discrimination, we have issued a public statement, which you may access here. I also ask you to join your prayers with ours, that we also be sustained by God’s abundant grace.
Oremus pro invicem.