June 1, 2020
Dear Members of the Ursuline Community,
I write today with profound sadness and a feeling of inadequacy in the face of the senseless death of George Floyd. As we battle a global pandemic, we know the specific actions we should take to keep ourselves and those around us safe. But when the epidemic of racial bias and hatred that has long simmered in our country shows a resurgence, what are we called to do?
Struggling with this question over the weekend, I found direction in the powerful words of a Jesuit priest and our Ursuline Sisters. In a beautiful homily at yesterday's Mass for the Feast of Pentecost, Fr. Peter Gyves, SJ, said, "Do we take our faith seriously?... We are called today to give our lives, to give our voice to a world where there is love for all God's people, where there is compassion at the sight of human suffering, and where there is a justice that is color-blind, pays no attention to religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion, but says that all God's people deserve dignity and their human rights. That is to live faith in action and may we have the courage to do it."
I also share with you the following statement, released yesterday by the Ursuline Sisters:
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation
The video of the police brutality against George Floyd brings to focus again the reality that as a nation we have the urgent task of seeking justice and equality for the people of color in America.
As Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union of the United States, we urge lawmakers to address systematic, race-based injustice. We add our voices to all who plead for societal changes in every facet of our life where racial inequality is condoned. It is time to address this issue with purpose.
"No one can say anymore, 'This does not concern me.'
Imitate Christ by becoming neighbor to every man, and woman."
Pope Francis to Ursulines
Roman Union Ursulines of the United States
May 30, 2020
Our Ursuline mission urges us to treat each other with respect and compassion and to live with integrity. At Ursuline, we stand in support of each member of our school community and beyond, regardless of race. Our shared faith demands us to be a people of justice.
While I cannot fully understand the burden of living as a person of color in America, I do respect and share in the sorrow, fear, and anger that we see. I ask that we join in examining our lives and actions, to find the ways in which our voices, individually and collectively, can bring about positive, constructive, and peaceful change in our world.
Wishing all the peace of Christ,
Kate Levesque '77