Dear Trinity High School Community:
The shocking killing of Mr. George Floyd last week in Minneapolis has once again caused Americans to take a difficult look at themselves as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. For many, many of us, it is simply unthinkable that such actions continue in our day, more than 50 years after the end of Jim Crow laws and more than 150 years after the emancipation of slaves. Captured visually and indelibly printed on the hearts and consciences of all people of goodwill, this killing has also come upon a nation already grieving and weakened from the effects of pandemic. The pain inflicted has been incalculable.
Where do we stand as a school community?
As a Catholic Christian faith community, Trinity High School grounds our absolute condemnation of racism in the Truth that all men and women carry the image and likeness of God. Therefore, all people, regardless of race, color, creed, or belief, bring God to one another. When we worship at Trinity, we come together to the table of the Lord to receive the Body of Christ. But we ourselves constitute that Body, complete with all of our differences. Without those, we are actually incomplete. At the beginning of Christian history, Saint Paul wrote,
“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).
We commemorate this when we sing “One Bread, One Body” at our liturgies. Now when one member of the Body suffers, the whole suffers, as well.
The institutional sin of racism strikes at the heart of the Body of Christ. Racism seeks to deprive members of their place within the body of our society. At its most violent, it deprives our brothers and sisters of their very lives.
In the wake of the killing of Mr. Floyd and others, the energy released by those who would effect change against racism has been spectacular. And just as there are important differences among those who make up the body of American society, so it is with people’s reactions and choices for how to effect change. Some people march as a protest, speaking truth to power; others petition the government for redress of systemic racism. Some people pray, drawing strength and resolve from their relationship with God. Others speak dialogue with family, friends, and coworkers. All of these are possible together, too. Everyone of voting age should exercise that right, too, later this year. And, unfortunately, some people have turned to violence from displaced anger and other motives. We applaud so many in our community who have given expression to their deepest convictions at this troubling time through any non-violent strategy. So many of our young alumni have chosen to act in different ways and have challenged others to join them. They represent powerful voices for the future.
Even before the killing of Mr. Floyd, Trinity has made efforts to listen to the diverse voices within our community and supplement our educational mission to support our growing diversity. Whether through the Future Leaders Mentoring Program, Great Books Program, school-wide films and assemblies, the “One School One Book” Program, and other initiatives, we work to create a school community where everyone is welcome in a safe, loving, and challenging environment. These things have been described elsewhere on social media and the school’s website over the past two years. For the coming year, we have arranged for faculty and staff to receive diversity training during in-service days in August (again, an initiative that has been many months in the making). We will consider other opportunities to educate and to celebrate our diverse student body as the year progresses. We are not perfect, but we cherish each of our students individually.
Trinity’s voice is one voice within the larger Catholic world that includes our Diocese, national, and international Catholic institutions. Please click on the links below to hear from some other voices at this important moment in history:
Yours in Christ,
John W. Cominsky, ‘85