Dear Catholic Charities Colleagues and Stakeholders,
The results of the Presidential and other elections have been the subject of much discussion today. Campaigns often focus on what divides us, and this campaign revealed and exacerbated stark divisions by race, gender, national origin, geography and socio-economic status. The rhetoric stung, frightened and wounded many who may now wonder about their place in our society and their futures. Yesterday demonstrated our deep divisions, but a common sentiment today – from those who won and lost – is the urgent need for unity and healing.
At Catholic Charities, elections are important and meaningful. Our foundational Catholic Social Teaching speaks directly to the moral role of government, the community and the common good, and the right of all to participate in society. So we advocate. We lead. Though we are fiercely nonpartisan, we seek to shape the political and social environment to achieve justice and equity, particularly for the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed and the forgotten. So here are some thoughts on what you and Catholic Charities can do.
First, I know that some of our colleagues, customers/clients, stakeholders and partners feel uncertain and frightened. Let’s all talk about it. Name it. Recognize that each of us have different perspectives and the journey to healing starts with active and respectful listening.
Second, the work of Catholic Charities—service to those most in need, leadership and advocacy for justice in our community—is needed now as much as ever before. We have served this community for 147 years, through 36 presidential elections. Our unwavering commitment to our mission and values endures and each political and social change offers an opportunity for renewed commitment. Let’s renew our commitment together.
President and CEO Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis