As followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph strongly decry the killing of George Floyd. This violent act serves as a reminder not just of injustice in the present day, but of a 400-year history of white supremacy in the United States. We also object to the use of force, and the threat of military force in particular, against peaceful, unarmed citizens exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of assembly. All of this is fundamentally unjust and it must end.
As Capuchin friars of the Province of St. Joseph, our work has long focused on racial justice. Our Capuchin brother, Servant of God Stephen Eckert, who ministered in Milwaukee in the early 20th century, was, and is, a model for us today on working for justice and equality. Today that work is continued by friars and partners in ministry throughout our province as we seek to prayerfully build sister-brotherhood in the world.
Together with people of goodwill around the nation, we unite in prayer and call for action in the pursuit of truth, reconciliation, and reparation for the sin of racism. So let us pray together, asking the intercession of Servant of God Stephen Eckert, for an end to racial injustice. And let us encounter one another, appreciate one another, and accompany the oppressed in our communities. Together we can fight for a more just society. We do this remembering Our Savior's commandment to "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another (John 13:34-35)."
In sister-brotherhood, I wish you peace and all good.
Br. Michael Sullivan, OFM Cap.
Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph