Reflections on Violence and Unrest
A Letter from Our Principal
“Love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.”
—Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Former Superior General of the Society of Jesus
Parents, Students, and Friends,
This has been a difficult week in our nation and our city. I am grieved by George Floyd’s killing and the aftermath of violence. As a Jesuit school, we are called to work for justice and reconciliation—and this aspect of our mission has never been more necessary and, perhaps, has never been more difficult.
For more than 200 years, our nation’s Jesuit schools, from middle schools to high schools to universities, have used education as our tool for promoting integral human excellence in our students. This excellence is not for the sake of personal gain, but rather for moral citizenship that seeks to promote justice. This justice requires that we act against the overt yet unrecognized racism that exists in our community and even in our own hearts. Our work takes time, but our work has made a difference for the good. It is still imperfect and ongoing.
I shared with Jesuit High School Sacramento’s faculty and staff earlier today that knowing how to respond as a school community is challenging, given we are also navigating the sickness, economic duress, and stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am reminded of the image of the Israelites wandering in the desert and how their experience was both difficult and revelatory. They were often lost and unsure, but they discovered what it meant to be in community and they realized their God was present and was wandering with them. I am grateful that we have so many talented, dedicated and faithful people to accompany us as the sheer magnitude of these circumstances can easily make us feel like we are wandering as well.
I stand in solidarity with our students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff of color for whom these days must be especially difficult. Racism has no place in our world or our community. Jesuit Sacramento stands committed to ending it peacefully.
I offer my support and love to you, and I know I am joined by the larger Jesuit community in doing the same. We need to support one another, and as Jesuit Sacramento’s team of devoted educators, we are committed to move more deeply into a conversation about race and our responsibility to work for racial justice.
We invite you, our families and students, to also dive deeper and explore teachings and statements from our leaders and partners in the Catholic community, both locally and nationally.
- Letter from Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., Provincial of Jesuits West and Jesuit Sacramento graduate Class of 1984
- Statement from Bishop Jaime Soto, Diocese of Sacramento
- Open Wide Our Hearts, a pastoral letter against racism by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops statement
We also invite you into prayer. St. Ignatius of Loyola provides us these questions to lead us into prayerful reflection. What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ? Where is Jesus standing in the midst of this, and can I stand with him?
Our faith, our learning, our community brings light. We are strengthened by this light, but there is more work to do. Let us pray for healing, courage, and wisdom in the days ahead.
In solidarity and hope,
Dr. Michael Wood, Ed.D.
June 2, 2020 7:00 p.m.