1 February 2021
Fr Gerry Devlin, Chaplain
On Sunday 31 January 2021 we celebrated Racial Justice Sunday and were reminded of the words spoken by Pope Francis: “It’s not enough to simply denounce racism, this is a time to act”. He said that: “Instances of racism continue to shame us and show that our supposed social progress is not as real and definite as we think.”
This annual day aims to raise awareness of our responsibility to eradicate racial discrimination in all its forms within the Church, schools and wider society. Racial justice is a Gospel imperative, since Christ called us not just to welcome all who we meet but to treat people with dignity and respect in every aspect of our private and public lives. The ministry of Jesus was one of compassionate involvement and concern for the disadvantaged and he was fully aware of obstacles, including those of the law which limited joy and fulfilment. Jesus acted quickly, confronting the issues which undermined a person’s dignity.
As a school Woldingham sets high standards and, as we listen to scripture and the voice of the Church, we learn of equal love for all members of our community:
- Voices that discriminate unjustly and attitudes that undermine on the grounds of race must be opposed.
- Voices of those who feel rejected or perpetually in second place must be listened to.
- The dignity of all must be respected and promoted.
On Racial Justice Sunday, Woldingham proclaimed with one voice that everyone of whatever racial origin should be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated. We need to challenge ourselves now so that this may always be achieved. In the words of Pope Francis: “This is the moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities - what we value, what we want, what we seek - and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of. God asks us to dare to create something new.”