Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Dear Sacred Heart Academy Community,
These have been difficult and heartbreaking days in our country and our city. On May 25, the world witnessed the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In the days that have followed, our city’s streets have been filled with the actions of non-violent protesters as well as the frightening destruction by rioters.
As a Sacred Heart school we are committed to promoting a safe and welcoming environment in which each person is valued, cared for and respected. We are committed to principles of nonviolence, conflict resolution and peacemaking. Injustice in the form of racism is an affront to the entire community.
In the Gospel on Pentecost we heard that when Jesus returned to the disciples, he said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” We are all called to be agents of peaceful change. As a school we have an opportunity and responsibility to teach why things happen and how we can make change.
How do we move forward? We continue our commitment to teaching and embracing the principles of dialogue. Courageous Conversations is our program that has been embraced by Upper School students as well as the entire faculty and staff. Late last year, we launched a faculty/staff committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion which has centered on ways that we communicate inclusivity throughout the school. All three divisions have incorporated curricular and co-curricular activities that address multiculturalism, diversity and equity. This summer the faculty will read the book Teaching When the World is On Fire by Lisa Delpit.
But we know that this is only the beginning of our work, and we have much work to do.
The Society of the Sacred Heart wrote, "Each of us is created in the image of God, brothers and sisters, united and equal in God’s eyes. The reality is that people of color in the United States are living every day with what all of us watched in the George Floyd video. We pledge to raise our voice in opposition to acts of racial discrimination and to fight tirelessly against the sin of racism. We stand with the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter against racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, in calling for a “genuine conversion of heart, a conversion that will compel change, and the reform of our institutions and society.”
These are not easy conversations to have, nor is this an easy letter to write. Many resources are being shared for ways to talk about racism. In the coming days we will post resources on our website to support all of us in our efforts to have these conversations.
Also, please join the Sacred Heart Academy community for a special prayer service on Wednesday, June 3 at 3:00 p.m. The Google Meet link can be found below. There will be an opportunity for volunteer readers. Let us join together to pray as a community.
“May God give all of us courage and solace as we work together for social justice and to preserve our land as one of equality and opportunity for every citizen,” Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez wrote. “May He bring peace to Minneapolis and to our Philadelphia region and may He rekindle within each of our hearts true love and respect for our fellow human beings.”
I pray for peace, for resolution, and for good health.
Head of School
Prayer Service Link for Wednesday, June 3 at 3:00 p.m.
Join with Google Meet