Take Prayerful Action
July 2, 2020
by Father David Beauvais
Retired priest of the Rockford Diocese
Catholics are now in a sacred moment in our country that challenges us to reflect on our parishes and our proud histories. Think of your parish or St. Anthony or St. Stanislaus (in Rockford). 
Our parishes represent the neighborhood tribe and culture. They are comments on immigration and the culture of immigrants. So where in the history of our parishes is there a place where “Black Lives Matter”?
Our theology teaches us that all lives matter. Every single person is made in the image of God and is loved by God, no matter what color or what church, temple or mosque they might attend. 
When have our parishes reached out to welcome those who look and sound different from our tribes? How do we explain the small percentage of African-American Catholics in America? 
Reflect on and be honest of the difficulty many parishes have had in greeting their Hispanic Catholic members.
This is a time when we are challenged to look beyond our history and move forward beyond our comfort zone to welcome and advocate for people of color who do not share our culture. 
We have a wonderful body of Catholic Social Teaching calling us to confront the reality of racism. We need to stretch our communities of faith to strive for equity and advocate for just social systems.
We have heard much talk of what needs to be changed. It seems incumbent on our parishes to find a way to include people of color in all aspects of life. 
The Great Commandment calls us to love God and our neighbor no matter what they look like. 
We also have Pope Francis reminding us that racism is a pro-life issue. The pope recently said, “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.” 
We are also called to work with other faith communities to collaborate to eradicate racism in our time. May we find God’s strength to move our history to build God’s Kingdom here and now.
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