Hope and Community
The following message was sent to students, parents, alumni and friends of Saint John’s Prep.
June 2, 2020
Dear Prep Community,
It has been a week of profound tragedy and sorrow for our state and our country.The killing of George Floyd painfully reminds us of the human cost of racism and violence. It forces us to not only reflect on our values and beliefs but to act on them to seek change in support of justice, peace, and real and lasting community.
Our values as a Benedictine school provide extraordinary guidance. They call us to welcome all people and to respect the dignity of each person. They preference a common good in support of community. They commit us to the practice of justice. They demand deep listening, with both the ear and the heart, to the voices of all those around us, particularly the voices of the suffering and the oppressed. And they teach us to actively strive for peace – with self, with others, and with God. These values and commitments are central to our identity and must be central to the Saint John’s Prep experience.
Our community spent the last eight weeks of the school year apart. And now we have formally parted for summer. But our values and ideals are neither place bound nor time bound. We can still use our hearts, hands and voices in service of justice and peace to build community. We take seriously at Prep our charge to prepare our students for lives of purpose, service, and achievement – to develop the skills and the moral foundation to lead and seek solutions that create a just and equitable society.
If you would like to support those impacted by the events of the last week, we invite you to consider contacting one of the following organizations, or any of the many churches, schools and organizations in the Twin Cities seeking assistance:
• Catholic Charities of the Twin Cities. Catholic Charities of the Twin Cities is providing help to those in need and will accept donations of supplies as well as food.
• Loaves and Fishes Meal Provider and Food Shelf. Loaves and Fishes provides meals for those in need as well as those helping with clean-up.
• Christo Rey Jesuit High School. Christo Rey, located in south Minneapolis, is part of a nationwide network of Christo Rey schools providing a Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. They provide extraordinary support to their community, particularly those who have experienced trauma.
• Small Business Aid for Lake Street. The Lake Street Council in Minneapolis is collecting donations to support small businesses and nonprofits that need to rebuild. Donations can be made on their website.
We have often referred to the power and grace of hope this spring. As we seek to heal, rebuild and unite, hope remains an essential pre-condition for action. With hope, compassion and love we can indeed change the world.
Head of School
Abbot John Klassen ’67, OSB