Statement on Racism

June 5th, 2020

As a Catholic institution of higher learning, the concept of universal human dignity is fundamental to how we understand ourselves as made in the image and likeness of God, and are beloved children of God. We see each student as a unique and irreplaceable individual. Our responsibility is to help them realize their gifts and to discern their God-given mission in life, in an environment that creates room for dialogue grounded in reason and guided by mutual respect. Without Christ the very concept of justice loses its source and its ultimate aim. The tragedy of racism is part of the much larger tragedy of sin.

Pope Francis’ words and prayers on June 3rd captured with great clarity and simplicity the perfect Catholic response to our current national and global racism crisis. I could not craft a better response, so I will humbly use his. Here is Pope Francis’ response:

Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd. We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost. Today I join the Church of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and of all the United States, in praying for the rest of the soul of George Floyd and all the others who have lost their lives because of the sin of racism. Let us pray for the comfort of families and friends who are heartbroken, and pray for national reconciliation and the peace we yearn for. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and in the world. God bless you all and your families. - Pope Francis

Saint John Paul II, pray for us as we strive for peace and justice in our nation and in our world.

Dr. Derry Connolly, Founding President