WE STAND SIDE BY SIDE

Dear Members of the St. Edward Community

 

The Holy Cross Constitutions remind us that "As disciples of Jesus we stand side by side with all people. Like them we are burdened by the same struggles and beset by the same weaknesses; like them we are made new by the same Lord's love; like them we hope for a world where justice and love prevail." In light of the mounting economic and health challenges of the pandemic and the recent events across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, we write to affirm that calling as a Catholic School in the Holy Cross tradition. 

Every person, no matter the color of their skin has been created in the image of God and deserves to be respected, valued and treated with dignity. Now more than ever there is a cry for justice and there is a call for our community to renew its commitment to fight racism. George Floyd's tragic death is a reminder that we are not where we need to be and the fight for justice is a fight we all must take on. Our community is very diverse and diversity is something we value and celebrate. In this difficult hour, we are inspired by the words of the late Nelson Mandela,

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

 

We condemn the senseless violence against our communities of color and we empathize with our black community as we are proud of many successful young men of color who attend and graduate from our school. Our prayers are with you and we want you to know that we care. We have witnessed injustice for too long but now is the time to put our hearts and minds together to find effective ways to move the needle forward toward social justice and racial healing.

 

We also have a long history at St. Edward of sending graduates into service as police officers to protect our communities, to protect the rights of every person and to preserve the rule of law under our Constitution.  To our officers, you are not forgotten and our prayers are with you as we recognize you have a difficult task before you.

 

One letter will not solve these issues; however, a national divisiveness won't either.  So, what can each of us do? Again, the Holy Cross Constitutions give us some direction: "Our mission sends us across borders of every sort. Often we must make ourselves at home among more than one people or culture, reminding us again that the farther we go in giving the more we stand to receive." Members of our community can serve as bridge builders. If there was ever a time to show love and manifest compassion and empathy, that time is now. Love is empathy. Love is standing up for those who can't stand and love is us coming together in selfless solidarity to use our power, our voice, our privilege, and our faith to end the racism and violence that has impacted members of our community.

 

As a Catholic school, we have embraced the spirit of cultural humility.  That spirit requires us to stop, suspend judgment, listen and seek to understand and learn from others who are different from us. Cultural humility calls each of us to challenge our own biases and find ways to work together to bring about systemic change that will disrupt unjust and inequitable systems. C.S. Lewis wrote, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but it is thinking of yourself less."  Love is humility and Christ encouraged us to learn from Him by being humble in heart, to be the servant leaders the world needs most. We recognize that we don't have all the answers but we can use this time to listen to those who are hurting, learn new perspectives and unlearn some old things that may have prevented us from understanding each other more fully. We can all seek to find the Good Samaritan in each of us. 

 

We encourage our alumni, students and families to pray during this time and to embrace cultural humility; at the same time, use your voice and power to bring about unity in order to create the systemic change that will result in greater equity.

 

In closing, let's remember that we are all connected in more ways than we are divided. Let's stand together as brothers and sisters in unity during this difficult time as we work together in the interest of unity and justice.

 

Jim Kubacki, President 

KC McKenna, Principal 

James Knight, VP of Equity & Inclusion 

Liam Haggerty, VP of Mission Effectiveness

St. Edward High School    |    13500 Detroit Avenue   |    Lakewood Ohio 44107   |    216.221.3776