Juneteenth is a Call to Action

By Father John Enzler, President and CEO

Before we can celebrate Juneteenth, we as a country must do better at living into its promise.

Today, we see Juneteenth as a call to act for justice. The protests over the last weeks have only highlighted the intense systemic disparities that exist in the United. States. Ones that are not considerably different than the ones faced by freed slaves more than 150 years ago on Juneteenth.

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from the inhumane and long-term effects of systemic racism.

We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

So, on Juneteenth, we recommit to the work that needs to be done for reconciliation to address and correct our participation in unjust structures. To fully embody our belief in the life and dignity of every human person.

And, while we persist in these endeavors, we do not forget Catholic Charities’ mission to meet our community’s immediate needs in the Archdiocese of Washington offering medical care, food, shelter, legal aid and other critical services to all who require it.

Every day, let us honor the dignity in every person and work to fulfill the promise of Juneteenth.

To do our work serving others, we must acknowledge and fight against racism

President and CEO Msgr. John J. Enzler offers these thoughts as the country continues to strive for justice for all. Today is my 73rd birthday. in looking back on my life, I am reflecting on God’s blessings but also the sin of racism that continues to affect us all. I remember as a very young…

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