June 2, 2020
Dear Marist Parents and Students,
Our city, our country is hurting. We know even in our own Marist community there is pain, fear, and confusion. Last weekend’s senseless killing of George Floyd awoke much of the racial tensions that have long existed in our society. Since then, there has been a flurry of reactions—from calls for justice to peaceful protests to, sadly, violence and destruction. It is a scary time compounded by the pandemic already at hand.
Marist’s earliest roots go back to St. Marcellin Champagnat, who was raised through a time of turmoil. He emphasized to the early Brothers that their job was to shape “good Christians and good citizens.” We continue that mission today by offering students the best learning opportunities—ones that are applicable to real life and seen through the scope of our Catholic faith. This moment is a great test of our Christian and civic duties to respect life and treat our neighbors as ourselves.
As a Catholic school, we are called to recognize the dignity of each human person. It is the foundation of Catholic teaching that all life is sacred. Thus, each of us is called to come together in our shared humanity to work towards a more loving and inclusive world that starts in our homes, grows in our schools and churches, and spreads throughout our cities.
To that end, at Marist we are committing ourselves to putting in the work needed to support all of our students and families. Students from more than 100 grammar schools and various socio-economic backgrounds call Marist their second home. We know there is on-going work needed to create a more inclusive community. We know there are students who may feel marginalized. While all are welcome, the work to make that a lived reality must be a daily effort.
In the coming weeks we will continue to map out what this commitment means for Marist and how it can more fully come to fruition. In the meantime, our guidance staff is available for any students who feel the need to talk through what they are experiencing and feeling right now. Students can email their counselor. Email addresses are available at marist.net.
We also know that many of our students go on to serve in various law enforcement roles, as do many of our parents. This profession is a commitment to public service. It requires selflessness and asks officers to put the safety of others before their own. We are proud of our Marist alumni and parents who serve and protect in cities near and far.
Each of us can make an impact in our communities. Let’s be the light in this darkness.
Br. Hank Hammer, FMS Larry Tucker ‘79