Last year, the International Leadership Team and United States Province Leadership Team of the School Sisters of St. Francis joined with our sisters and brothers around the world in mourning the loss of George Floyd’s life. We unequivocally condemned his killing and other acts of violence, especially those motivated by racial discrimination.
Today, the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin concluded and the jury has found him guilty on all three charges related to Mr. Floyd’s death. Given the video evidence that people around the world have watched with horror, and testimony that was presented at the trial, this verdict may bring us some solace at this difficult time.
At the height of the Civil Rights movement, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, quoting Theodore Parker, reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” We pray that the jury’s decision to hold former Officer Chauvin accountable for his actions is a step toward equal justice for all Americans.
Let our response to this verdict begin with prayer for all those whose lives have been impacted by this tragedy. The jury’s decision will stir up strong emotions and some people may feel called to lend their voices to protest. We pray that these expressions will remain peaceful and lawful, for there is no place for further violence in our response to these events.
As an international and intercultural community of Catholic women religious, we also pledge to uncover the roots of racism in our own lives and communities and eradicate the systems that support it. We will continue to work to fulfill our focus of giving, healing, and defending life.
International Leadership Team
U.S. Province Leadership Team
School Sisters of St. Francis