Dear Parents, students, and alumni of Kellenberg Memorial,
A Most Important Time for Reflection and Action
Last week we celebrated Pentecost. In his farewell discourse to the Apostles, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, who will “convince the world concerning sin.” Since Pentecost Sunday, I have thought a lot about that phrase “convince the world concerning sin.”
The protests that are taking place on Hempstead Turnpike and throughout our nation and the comments shared on social media by our black and minority alumni bring the systemic sin of racism in our nation right to the doors of Kellenberg Memorial High School. Indeed All Black Lives do Matter and upon further reflection, I believe most fervently that I must take a stronger stand against this sin deeply rooted in our society, and hence within our own hearts as well. We all must.
As a Catholic school with the motto “One Heart and One Mind,” the leadership of Kellenberg Memorial vows to be proactive in educating ourselves and our students towards creating a school that not only is intolerant of racism but works to be actively anti-racist. We have much work to do in this area.
We start by listening. I urge you and your family to watch this video and listen to the experience of Father Pierre Toussaint, CFR, a graduate of Kellenberg Memorial. He shares his own personal experiences of living as a black man and the racism he has encountered in his life. With one of his fellow friars, he reflects on the Church’s teaching on the dignity of every person and offers suggestions for moving forward. Fr. Pierre Toussaint provides a great starting point for the Holy Spirit to “convince” us of the need to change hearts and minds to be who we profess to be, disciples of Jesus Christ.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be renewed.”
Father Pierre and Father Mark Mary recommend prayer, attentive listening, and education as first steps in this process. In a spirit of listening, please use this email address to share your thoughts (WeWillDoBetter@kellenberg.org). Building on these first steps we will be formulating concrete plans and actions for the new school year. Please keep our efforts in your prayers.
Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland, S.M.