Dear Norwood-Fontbonne Academy Community,
Today we join with our nation in celebrating the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The day provides moments for reflection on the call to which we all must respond, the call to realize in our world today justice, respect, and equality for all. We can see many examples of the tenants of Catholic Social Teaching in the life and legacy of Dr. King. Dr. King set a timeless example of courage, compassion, and humility.
In the words of President of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, “Even with all the progress our country has made on the issue, racism remains a living reality. As our nation celebrates the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are given an important time to recommit ourselves to the Gospel message he preached, that the sin of racism can be defeated by active love and the light of faith.”
The teachings of Dr. King remind us, inspire us, and empower us to live lives of respectful solidarity with all of our brother and sisters in our global human family. We can live out that call through lives of love and faith in service to our fellow man. We can teach our children both through the lessons of the past and the struggles of the present. As a school community, all of us, teachers, parents, and students are partners in this shared mission of faithful discipleship, leading with integrity, seeing our dear neighbor in the eyes of all of our brothers and sisters in one human family.
On Christmas of 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. preached the following words: “The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. Every man is somebody because he is a child of God…Man…is more than…whirling electrons or a wisp of smoke … Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such…And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.”
As I read these words again, I am reminded of our shared commitment as a community of the respect for all life and the dignity of the human person. I encourage you to engage with your children today in conversation and reflect on the works of Dr. King and our challenge to continue to live the mission and advance that legacy.
Blessings and peace,
Ryan Killeen, Ed.D.