This Sunday both Fr. Zack and Fr. George gave homilies that addressed race, prejudice and white privilege. Both have received emails of support and push back – as expected. Both friars took some points from an essay by Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, a Catholic priest and theology professor at Fordham University and the author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Each homily was but an introduction to the complex, persistent injustice of racism in our country. We, the Friars of Sacred Heart encourage all parishioners to take a moment to read the whole of the essay.
Fr. Massingale understands that these events and all that surrounds it can bring out “feelings of helplessness, confusion and even despondency…It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem, by the immense weight of centuries of accumulated fear, resentment, privilege and righteous anger. It can be shocking to confront the vastness of this nation’s commitment to white benefit and advantage. Where do we begin?” He offers:
- Understand the difference between being uncomfortable and being threatened.
- Sit in the discomfort this hard truth brings.
- Admit your ignorance and do something about it.
- Have the courage to confront your family and friends.
- Be unconditionally pro-life -“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.” – Pope Francis, June 3, 2020
Fr. Kevin Mullen, Provincial of Holy Name Province to which our friars belong, also reflected upon “Racism and Ways to Confront a Crisis.” You can read more here.