Pastoral Thought


            February is “Black History Month” although I don’t think that this has a big impact. Yet it should. “If we are ignorant of our history we are bound to repeat it.” If you are a citizen of the USA and a Catholic, you have a responsibility for our country and our society and our culture, and our past and our future. Some people say “I’m not responsible for what happened fifty or one– or two-hundred and fifty years ago...and I really don’t care what happens one hundred years from now. It’s not my responsibility.”

            These words are not worthy of a citizen of our country or a member of the Church. We are responsible for the well-being of our country and our culture, in such a way that we are to reconcile and repair past wrongs and hand to the coming generations a country and a culture that are more whole, made better by our actions.

            What I am leading up to is that there is work to do in our time and place that brings reparation and reconciliation in the area of race. This is especially so in the relationship of those of us who are white (Anglo-, Euro-, Caucasian) with those of us who are African-American (Black).

            The Black American brings a richness and a vitality to our culture that is mental, emotional, spiritual, and bodily. If a male, he also has a far greater chance of being stopped by police, going to jail, being separated from his children, and being murdered. And if a female, bearing the burden of this.

            Much of this is the heritage of slavery, which degraded a whole people for 250 years, and segregation, for 100 more, and racism which can exist unconsciously in our ways of doing things. Marvelous advances have been made, but yet more is needed. During February, March and April several of our churches will sponsor some conversations with persons with responsibility for education, social welfare, and policing. In the light of faith we will seek to understand better how we are to reconcile and repair what is still alienated racially among us, God’s beloved children. We will announce it soon.

            Come and be a part.

Father John Hynes