An Open Letter to Our Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas

June 4, 2020 – by Carlos Aedo and Zandra Schiemann

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Dear Friends,

In this moment in which so much seems to be in turmoil, the demands of our faith take on deeper significance. In addition to the coronavirus, we are faced with the horror of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, his pleas ignored as he struggled to breathe. We must remember that we can and should express our faith by fighting for our rights and those of our sisters and brothers who are suffering and are oppressed.

We must realize that our mission as lay people is to be witnesses of the Kingdom and active participants. Faith demands justice. To believe in Jesus is to believe in the values that Jesus himself taught us and to live them, not to remain indifferent.

Each of us is invited to reflect on this and put our faith into action. Let us discover how we can promote peace and work toward social and racial justice.

In the book of the Genesis, God encourages us, in no uncertain terms, to recognize that hatred and war have no place because all are equal in the eyes of God.

God also encourages us not to remain quiet, but to be courageous and committed to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Our faith goes hand-in-hand with justice, and we must fight together with our sisters and brothers to defend human rights, life, and dignity.

Amidst such sadness and suffering, we might be thinking, “how can we not lose hope?”

First, we must not separate ourselves from reality. We must not look away, and as Christians we must accept that we also bear responsibility. Secondly, we must remember that hope, one of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), comes from God and also leads us directly to God.

May God fill our hearts with love, that we might be able to heal our wounds, those of our sisters and brothers, and those of our nation.

May God protect all of us.

Carlos Aedo
Director of Hispanic Ministries
Zandra Schiemann
Program Coordinator, Ignatian Hispanic Ministries

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Eastern Point Retreat House, a grand house located on the Atlantic shore in Gloucester, Mass., has been welcoming retreatants since 1958.