“Any change must start with me.”  We have all heard these words, expressed in a variety of ways before. But ask yourself…“Do I REALLY believe them?”

In their pastoral statement, Open Wide Our Hearts, the U.S. Catholic Bishops assert: “Racism is a failure to acknowledge another as brother and sister, created in the image of God.”  If all of us deeply believed this, would we be experiencing the recent horror of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis?  Do we believe it is an absolute necessity to look deep within ourselves to determine what part we play in the racist culture that prevails in this country?

As we consider the pro-life issues that we, as Catholics, highly value, we are invited to ask ourselves: Is not the murder of George Floyd and racist circumstances that gave rise to it, a pro-life issue?   Racism is rooted in our culture, our country, our churches, and in us as a people.

As Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, we invite ourselves, our companions, and coworkers, along with our elected officials and church leaders, to address the atrocities of this issue on all levels.  While we are long overdue in directly confronting the reality of racism, we recognize the need to look within our own hearts as we meditate on the words, “to change the world I must start with me.”

We support the work of many years on racism by PAX CHRISTI USA. We invite you to view and reflect on their challenging statement in response to the murder of George Floyd.