On this page
"Sometimes, words seem to be inadequate to express grief, anger, fear, and frustration". - Dan Meixner '84, president
"We find ourselves in a most difficult moment." - Fr. Bob Jones, SM, chaplain
"Resources that seek to provide you starting points for discussions with your children." - Jama Badinghaus, counselor
Sometimes, words seem to be inadequate to express grief, anger, fear, and frustration.
Such as now. Just over a week ago, we witnessed the senseless killing of another African-American man, George Floyd. People of goodwill must grieve for Mr. Floyd’s family, pray for them and those who called him a friend, and join in the anger and frustration of those who look at this tragedy - and others that preceded it - as emblematic of the treatment that people of color too often face. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, one of our school’s founding religious communities, teach us to create communities that “value the dignity and sacredness of each person.” When we see that human dignity and sacredness of any life is violated, we must join our voices to those who demand a better world, an end to the evil of racism, and the call for the day when our hearts and our systems reflect charity and true justice.
Hate, violence, racism, and fear is antithetical to our Catholic Tradition, the spirit of the Sisters and Marianists who continue to guide us, and the passion of our teachers, coaches, and staff members who minister each day with love, understanding, integrity, and grace.
The Marianists, Chaminade Julienne’s other founding religious community, ask that we “educate for adaptation and change.” Clearly, we need change in our cities, we need change in our institutions, and we need change in the ways we engage with one another. Standing together, peacefully, is a way to start. But, it’s only a start. As a school that values diversity as an element of excellence, that celebrates that our students and alumni come from all parts of the city, all socio-economic backgrounds, all races, and all academic abilities, we can strengthen our connections to each other, improve our conversations with each other, and continue to serve as the light of Christ for others.
Today, and in the days to come, we must pray in solidarity with all members of the CJ community, our friends throughout Dayton, our Church family, and our fellow citizens for peace in our city and in our world. At the core of the CJ mission is the message of Jesus Christ to love one another as He loves us. We pledge to continue to witness the Gospel by furthering our many efforts to build a school community that respects the inherent dignity of every person as made in God’s image, and we will continue to welcome and rejoice in the diversity that makes Chaminade Julienne a special place.
- Dan Meixner '84, president
June 2, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We find ourselves in a very difficult moment. We are once again (and I can’t believe I have to use that phrase “once again”) coming face to face with the sin of racism and social injustice. It is an affront to human dignity and an offense to the inherent goodness of each person as they are made in the image and likeness of God. While many of the protests are peaceful, some individuals are choosing to respond with even more violence. It leaves us, rightfully so, unsettled, afraid, broken-hearted and angry.
Like many of you, I have been in a swirl of emotions, and I am left questioning “What can I do?” to denounce this evil scourge that persists in our society. It can feel very overwhelming, and those feelings are exasperated because we are not able to be physically present with each other for support and encouragement.
I’d like to offer a few resources (they can be accessed here) that I have found helpful in processing my own feelings of the past several days. I offer them to you in the hope that they might be helpful, especially in those moments when it all seems so overwhelming. I readily admit that these are mostly self-focused, but as Blessed Chaminade reminds us, “The essential is the interior.” Real change can begin with softening our own hearts and working toward our own conversion. Then, emboldened with the Holy Spirit, we can go out into the world.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” May the peace of the Risen Lord be with all of us. Let us join together to pray for peace in our world, in our nation, in our community and in our hearts.
- Fr. Bob Jones, SM, chaplain
- Read and reflect on a statement from Pope Francis given on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, during his General Audience. The English text is near the end. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2020/documents/papa...
- Pray with a re-play of the Holy Hour for Conversion and Peace led by Archbishop Schnurr from the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains https://youtu.be/z9Fvlu8heL At around 24:20, there is a beautiful examination of conscience led by Deacon Royce Winters
- Read and reflect on this article that discusses Minneapolis in the context of Pentecost. https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2020/05/as-we-remember-jerusalem-on-pente...
- Watch and reflect on this statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops https://youtu.be/hfQvYelF_9k
- Songs that may be helpful to listen to. Perhaps you can express the feelings you have while listening to them by drawing a simple picture. I did this and found it very helpful.
- The artwork of Tylonn J. Sawyer can be quite compelling and evocative, particularly his “Pietà”. http://www.tylonn-j-sawyer.com/american-gods
- Read the statement from the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province at: https://www.sndohio.org/sisters-notre-dame/news/1682389/statement-from-t...
- Pray and respond to this “prayer” taken from Pope Francis’ 2019 Easter homily. The full text of the homily (found in the document) is also really good. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J6p7TO0fvMJOX3guNymCnm2WCGMFjsUZjIOE...
- I recently gave a homily that reflected on Mary’s “standing” in the face of injustice and difficulty (Jn 19: 25-27). You can watch it at this link https://youtu.be/WSFAffufAcg
Find resources on racism from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/index.cfm
- In particular, their recent pastoral letter “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love” is quite good
June 4, 2020
Resource for CJ Parents
As our country collectively and individually responds to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and racial divide in our country, the following resources seek to provide you starting points for discussions with your children:
School counselors, Jama, Peyton and Cory, remain available should a student be in need of a safe space to process. We know students may need particular spaces to begin these sensitive conversations, so we invite students to connect with any counselor he/she feels most comfortable speaking with initially in regards to this topic.
- Jama Badinghaus, counselor
June 6, 2020
As part of CJ’s planning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school leadership considered the school’s response to possible student-initiated forms of protest following a summer of protests and violence that highlighted the racial injustice in our nation. One such form of protest that most of us have witnessed is individuals taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Our practice at CJ in recent years has been to discourage this practice in the belief that all those privileged to wear a CJ athletic uniform should stand out of respect for our nation. In our discussion, we affirmed that this remained our preference. However, we recognized that we must now consider the individual convictions of those who choose a different posture to call attention to injustice in our nation. For this school year, in this current climate, we decided that it would not be appropriate to compel students with strongly-held convictions to stand.
The few students who have chosen to take a knee during this school year — and their fellow students who support them with a hand on the shoulder — intend to bring a visual sign to the issues of racial injustice in our community and in our country. Their decision to do so was made after consultation with their parents and their coaches, and was made with the support of school leadership. It is not our students’ intention to disrespect our country or all those who have sacrificed for our freedom. Our students have taken to heart the call of Jesus Christ and our founders - the Marianists and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur - to respect the dignity and sacredness of each person. The students' act of kneeling, which we know can be misinterpreted, allows them to use their voice in the call for greater justice. We hold hope that our community could be #UnitedTogetherCJ and, as one, and in the future adopt a visible show of unity to demonstrate that we honor the dignity and sacredness of each person.
- Dan Meixner '84, president
March 19, 2021