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"Sometimes, words seem to be inadequate to express grief, anger, fear, and frustration". - Dan Meixner '84, president
"We find ourselves in a most difficult moment." - Fr. Bob Jones, SM, chaplain
"Resources that seek to provide you starting points for discussions with your children." - Jama Badinghaus, counselor
"We are saddened and disappointed about the question posed earlier this week in a legislative hearing by Sen. Steve Huffman ... ."
Sometimes, words seem to be inadequate to express grief, anger, fear, and frustration.
Such as now. Just over a week ago, we witnessed the senseless killing of another African-American man, George Floyd. People of goodwill must grieve for Mr. Floyd’s family, pray for them and those who called him a friend, and join in the anger and frustration of those who look at this tragedy - and others that preceded it - as emblematic of the treatment that people of color too often face. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, one of our school’s founding religious communities, teach us to create communities that “value the dignity and sacredness of each person.” When we see that human dignity and sacredness of any life is violated, we must join our voices to those who demand a better world, an end to the evil of racism, and the call for the day when our hearts and our systems reflect charity and true justice.
Hate, violence, racism, and fear is antithetical to our Catholic Tradition, the spirit of the Sisters and Marianists who continue to guide us, and the passion of our teachers, coaches, and staff members who minister each day with love, understanding, integrity, and grace.
The Marianists, Chaminade Julienne’s other founding religious community, ask that we “educate for adaptation and change.” Clearly, we need change in our cities, we need change in our institutions, and we need change in the ways we engage with one another. Standing together, peacefully, is a way to start. But, it’s only a start. As a school that values diversity as an element of excellence, that celebrates that our students and alumni come from all parts of the city, all socio-economic backgrounds, all races, and all academic abilities, we can strengthen our connections to each other, improve our conversations with each other, and continue to serve as the light of Christ for others.
Today, and in the days to come, we must pray in solidarity with all members of the CJ community, our friends throughout Dayton, our Church family, and our fellow citizens for peace in our city and in our world. At the core of the CJ mission is the message of Jesus Christ to love one another as He loves us. We pledge to continue to witness the Gospel by furthering our many efforts to build a school community that respects the inherent dignity of every person as made in God’s image, and we will continue to welcome and rejoice in the diversity that makes Chaminade Julienne a special place.
- Dan Meixner '84, president
June 2, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We find ourselves in a very difficult moment. We are once again (and I can’t believe I have to use that phrase “once again”) coming face to face with the sin of racism and social injustice. It is an affront to human dignity and an offense to the inherent goodness of each person as they are made in the image and likeness of God. While many of the protests are peaceful, some individuals are choosing to respond with even more violence. It leaves us, rightfully so, unsettled, afraid, broken-hearted and angry.
Like many of you, I have been in a swirl of emotions, and I am left questioning “What can I do?” to denounce this evil scourge that persists in our society. It can feel very overwhelming, and those feelings are exasperated because we are not able to be physically present with each other for support and encouragement.
I’d like to offer a few resources (they can be accessed here) that I have found helpful in processing my own feelings of the past several days. I offer them to you in the hope that they might be helpful, especially in those moments when it all seems so overwhelming. I readily admit that these are mostly self-focused, but as Blessed Chaminade reminds us, “The essential is the interior.” Real change can begin with softening our own hearts and working toward our own conversion. Then, emboldened with the Holy Spirit, we can go out into the world.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” May the peace of the Risen Lord be with all of us. Let us join together to pray for peace in our world, in our nation, in our community and in our hearts.
- Fr. Bob Jones, SM, chaplain
- Read and reflect on a statement from Pope Francis given on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, during his General Audience. The English text is near the end. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2020/documents/papa...
- Pray with a re-play of the Holy Hour for Conversion and Peace led by Archbishop Schnurr from the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains https://youtu.be/z9Fvlu8heL At around 24:20, there is a beautiful examination of conscience led by Deacon Royce Winters
- Read and reflect on this article that discusses Minneapolis in the context of Pentecost. https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2020/05/as-we-remember-jerusalem-on-pente...
- Watch and reflect on this statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops https://youtu.be/hfQvYelF_9k
- Songs that may be helpful to listen to. Perhaps you can express the feelings you have while listening to them by drawing a simple picture. I did this and found it very helpful.
- The artwork of Tylonn J. Sawyer can be quite compelling and evocative, particularly his “Pietà”. http://www.tylonn-j-sawyer.com/american-gods
- Read the statement from the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province at: https://www.sndohio.org/sisters-notre-dame/news/1682389/statement-from-t...
- Pray and respond to this “prayer” taken from Pope Francis’ 2019 Easter homily. The full text of the homily (found in the document) is also really good. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J6p7TO0fvMJOX3guNymCnm2WCGMFjsUZjIOE...
- I recently gave a homily that reflected on Mary’s “standing” in the face of injustice and difficulty (Jn 19: 25-27). You can watch it at this link https://youtu.be/WSFAffufAcg
Find resources on racism from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/index.cfm
- In particular, their recent pastoral letter “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love” is quite good
June 4, 2020
Resource for CJ Parents
As our country collectively and individually responds to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and racial divide in our country, the following resources seek to provide you starting points for discussions with your children:
School counselors, Jama, Peyton and Cory, remain available should a student be in need of a safe space to process. We know students may need particular spaces to begin these sensitive conversations, so we invite students to connect with any counselor he/she feels most comfortable speaking with initially in regards to this topic.
- Jama Badinghaus, counselor
June 6, 2020
We are saddened and disappointed about the question posed earlier this week in a legislative hearing by Sen. Steve Huffman and the use of a racial description long-considered offensive. The question itself and implications it raises about Black citizens in the state of Ohio — our Black brothers and sisters — are inconsistent with the values and mission of Chaminade Julienne. They are also inconsistent with what we know of Sen. Huffman. Nonetheless, and whatever his intent, Sen. Huffman’s words undermined the call of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to “honor the dignity and sacredness of all people.” Such action in opposition to our founding orders and our call as a Catholic educational institution cannot be tolerated.
Therefore, Dr. Huffman cannot continue his service to CJ providing training and medical services to our students. In partnership with Premier Health, we have removed his eligibility to participate as a volunteer in the sports medicine program as a team physician.
In this time, when all Americans are being called to reconsider their own views on race and bias, individual and organizational accountability for words and actions must be even greater. And we, as members of the CJ family, will redouble our efforts to form communities of faith that seek to amplify voices against hate, violence and racism. We long for the day when we might experience more fully the saving grace of Christ’s peace and love.
We are grateful to the alumni, parents, and community members who have shared their experiences and concerns with us, and recognize the need for continuing dialogue. Should you have any questions, I invite you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Meixner ‘84
June 12, 2020