Moving Forward On Racial Justice, Week 1

During this time of preparing to vote on the Corporate Stance Against Racism, the JPIC Office will send out a weekly resource sheet with information on Catholic Social Teaching, questions for personal reflection, and resources to investigate to further our personal education.

The Sankofa bird symbol is from the Akan tribe in Ghana, Africa. This image is based on a mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward with its head turned backwards. The Akan people believed to plan for a strong future we must learn from the past, and never forget. If you look carefully, you will see that the bird has a seed in its beak. This symbolizes the ongoing need for each generation to plant seeds of knowledge for coming generations.

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as your-self. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” “Love compels each of us to resist racism courageously. It requires us to reach out generously to the victims of this evil, to assist the conversion needed in those who still harbor racism, and to begin to change policies and structures that allow racism to persist.”

Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, a pastoral letter against racism by the USCCB, 2018

Questions for Reflection

  • Can we be authentic followers of Jesus Christ, if we see our neighbors as “others”?
  • Does “love your neighbor” come with any exceptions?
  • How can I become more aware of the exceptions I make in my own mind?

Love thy neighbor as thyself because you are your neighbor. It is illusion that makes you think that your neighbor is someone other than yourself.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

A Call to Transformative Love in Religious Life: Stories of Race, Place and Grace
This is a 3-part series, jointly sponsored by the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life and The National Black Sisters’ Conference, to begin a conversation about the role of religious life in addressing and dismantling racial injustice.

November 9 | 7-8:30 pm CST – Session I
Sharing Our Histories and Our Stories
In this first session we will hear the journey of persons of color who entered predominantly Euro-centric congregations – their experiences of religious life, church and society. For this conversation, Sharing Our Histories and Our Stories, the panelists will be Sr. Anita Baird, DHM, Sr. Desiré Findlay, CSSF, Br. Ernest Miller, FSC, Fr. Jeffrey Ott, OP, Sister Melinda Pellerin SSJ, and Fr Michael Thompson, SSJ.
Click here for more info and to register.

God of justice,
In your wisdom you create all people in your image,
without exception.
Through your goodness, open our eyes to see
the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being.
Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family.
Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes,
behaviors, and speech which demean others.
Open our ears to hear the cries
of those wounded by racial discrimination,
and their passionate appeals for change.
Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history.
And fill us with courage that we might seek to
heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven,
and establish peace and equality
for all in our communities.
In Jesus’ name we pray.

(Catholic Charities USA)

Click here to download this PDF.

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