Dear Parents and Students,
Every third Monday in January, we honor the United States’ most famous civil-rights activist, Martin Luther King. King experienced injustice but neither responded with violence nor remained silent. He showed great faith in God and practiced the kind of active love that holds human dignity so high that it has the power to transform society. The movement he led did not use weapons or armies but gained civil rights through nonviolent protest.
It has been over fifty years since King’s death and today, another world leader who fully grasps the commitment to nonviolent action is Pope Francis. In his World Day of Peace Message for 2017, Pope Francis called for a “politics of nonviolence.” “Violence is not the cure for our broken world,” he wrote. “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” Pope Francis is careful to note that peace building is not only a Catholic activity “but is typical of many religious traditions for which compassion and nonviolence are essential elements pointing to the way of life.”
As Catholics, we are committed to the social teachings of the church which call us all to work for the common good, help build a just society, uphold the dignity of human life and lift up the poor and vulnerable in our society. King’s work reminds us that to be Catholic is to imitate Jesus and lift up those who are most oppressed. The pope’s emphasis on nonviolence not only reflects the peacemaking legacy of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, but also helps ensure that the message of King, and many other nonviolent prophets, continues to be remembered and put into practice.
Take care and God bless,
Mr. David Gallagher