June 7, 2020
Dear Parents, Students, Alumni, Current Parents, and Parishioners,
The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 unveiled deeply rooted racism that persists in our society and world. As Pastor of The Church and Schools of Saint Mary, I communicated with the parents of our current students and our parishioners in an email on Monday, June 1, that I have repeated below for our alumni and current students to read as well. Saint Mary’s stands firmly against racism and has open and regular dialogue with our students on race, respect, and the dignity of every human being. I know, however, that we continue to need to listen and grow in these efforts. I believe that prayer and communication are key components to growth, but action is critical. In that spirit, we have set up an email to which you may express your thoughts about these important issues and we will continue to develop ways to address racism with action. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I invite you to listen to the words of Our Holy Father Pope Francis, who addressed the world on the issue of racism. A link to his comments is here. Together with Pope Francis, I pray that we may all be open to respectful dialogue and change in the days and weeks ahead both at The Schools of Saint Mary and in our broader community.
In Jesus and Mary,
Rev. Fr. Robert A. Romeo
Message sent on June 1, 2020:
These recent months, our nation has faced challenging times. There is no doubt that the Coronavirus has impacted every sphere of our lives, but our country is now facing the added question of violence. With the horrific death of George Floyd last week, brutality and racism are yet again being addressed. The issues of violence and the response to it must always be in the minds of believers, and indeed of all people of goodwill. It is so unfortunate that people, who care not for justice but rather looting, are attempting to blur the message of the peaceful protesters. The question of racial, religious, or ethnic bias is an issue as old as humanity. Every ethnic or religious group has its share of stories, none are exempt. However, there is a distinct and significant difference in the discrimination experienced specifically by the African-American community throughout the history of the United States. And now the African-American community is again addressing this topic. So maybe in a death that can only be described as horrific, people of goodwill can come together to speak with honesty and openness so lasting solutions can be reached.
That, our sisters and brothers, is our prayer, and we hope you can share that hope and prayer also. The words of the great and universal Saint Francis of Assisi ring so true, especially today.
Rev. Fr. Robert A. Romeo, Pastor of the Church of St. Mary
Rev. Fr. Jiha Lim, Chaplain of the Schools of St. Mary
Rev. Fr. Jude Dioka, Parochial Vicar, Church of St. Mary
Dr. Joseph R. McCleary, President of the Schools of St. Mary
Mr. Gerard J. Buckley, Principal, St. Mary’s High School
Mrs. Sarah Griffin, Principal, St. Mary’s Elementary School
Mrs. Marie Granieri, Director of Religious Education, Church of St. Mary
Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.