The following statement was drafted by the Glenmary Home Missioners at their June 2020 annual assembly.
Throughout Glenmary’s 81 year history we, as a community, and as individuals, have been committed to working for justice, and seeking to end discrimination in all of its forms. In 1952, Father William Howard Bishop, the founder of Glenmary, told his missioners, “Address grave racial injustices that are commonplace in America—we cannot permanently ‘Jim Crow’ a whole race of human beings because of the color of their skin.” We have attempted to heed these words, even though we know there is always more we can do.
In 2015, the 16th General Chapter of Glenmary issued the following decree:
Decree on Racism
We, the Glenmary Home Missioners of America, meeting in our 16th General Chapter, are assessing the mission needs of our time, and with horror recognize the outbursts of racism during the recent months in our culture. Unarmed black men are being shot. Black people at prayer are being killed. In reality the overt and covert killer is racism.
In our culture there exists a racial divide. People of color are marginalized, dehumanized and devalued. As people of the Gospel, we Glenmarians read Matthew 25 as though Jesus were saying, “I was among the least, the most vulnerable and discounted, and you recognized me as your brother, No, indeed, as your other self!”
In the face of racism, with earthly reasoning, we despair. But, with heavenly grace, we hope.
Glenmary, a small group, yet a committed band of missioners, raises a voice, and invites others to join us
- to listen beyond the shrill voices of division,
- to walk with our wounded brothers and sisters through their despair,
- to seek through dialogue and prayer the strength to say No to hatred, No to division, No to racism.
We pledge ourselves to self-examination about racism, to recognize it and condemn it, to preach our commitment from our pulpits, and to return next year to report what we have done. As a family of the church, we pledge repentance for our lack of attention to racism within our culture. And, with God’s grace, we vow Gospel vigilance.
We, as a community, grieve the death of George Floyd, and deplore the actions that led to his death. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in peaceful protest of this tragic event, and many others like it, and recognize the sin of racism that still exists in our society, and in us as individuals. We affirm, and recommit ourselves as individuals, and as a community, to our 2015 Decree. We ask for God’s grace to continue to assist us in these efforts.