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St. Peter Claver (1580–1654), whose memorial we celebrate today, offers a timely witness as our nation reckons anew with the enduring scourge of racism. The Catholic Church venerates St. Peter Claver as the patron saint of African Americans and slaves, but Claver himself was neither. Truer to his own biography, what might we learn from Claver, the pioneering patron of white anti-racism?
It seems trivial to say that we are living in strange times. Yet, the triviality does not change the reality. Structures, institutions, and patterns of life once thought permanent and stable have been radically altered by the pandemic; moreover, we have been made aware that the “normal” life so many of us desire to return to is one of pervasive discrimination and tragic injustice for many, especially our Black brothers and sisters. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others cry out for justice and call us to action.
Editorial Note: This month, we want to hold up women working in the Church whose dedication to ministry and service of God and neighbor is nothing short of inspiring. We hope you'll be inspired by their stories too.