Following the pain, outrage and violence resulting from the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, I send this message in a spirit of reconciliation, asking you to join me beginning this Sunday — the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity — in praying our Novena for National Unity & An End to Racism.
We should take to heart the words of Pope Francis. No one should “tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism.” We must all “defend the sacredness of every human life.” And we must redouble our efforts to overcome the suffering and injustice which result from the sin of racism. As we celebrate the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity, we call upon all Knights and people of goodwill to join in prayer. Let us remember that, as Pope Francis says, “nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.”
Our prayers are inspired by our legacy as Knights of Columbus — may we carry on in the same spirit of unity that has inspired the Order to welcome Catholic men of all backgrounds, regardless of race, from our very beginning. This is especially important as we move forward as “Knights of Columbus: Knights of Unity,” which was the theme of last year’s Supreme Convention.
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Time is cluttered with the wreckage of broken communities which have surrendered to hatred and violence. For the salvation of our nation and the salvation of mankind, we must follow another way.”
We pray that we all can follow this other way and come to understand that injustice to a black person is injustice to all; that regardless of race or culture, all people, without exception, are made in the image and likeness of God, and are deserving of our respect and love.
Please join me in offering this prayer for national unity and an end to racism. May we pray for the strength to learn from the courageous example of Dr. King and from the leadership of our Holy Father, and continue to work to build a society that recognizes the dignity and brotherhood of all.
As men of faith, let us together confidently turn to prayer during the nine days of this novena, beginning on Sunday, June 7, and concluding on Monday, June 15.
May God, through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Civilization of Love, hear our prayer.
Carl A. Anderson