St. Thomas Aquinas:
God’s People in Extraordinary Variety
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish strives to be a diverse and welcoming community, seeking to serve the will of God and striving to live the gospel of Jesus Christ through prayer, vibrant liturgy, educational excellence, personal sharing and social action.
With that vision as our focus, our parish mourns for the Black lives that have been lost due to police brutality.
The video that was seen around the world on May 25 of an African American man in Minneapolis pinned to the ground by a policeman’s knee on his neck, begging for his life and asking for his mother, will never be forgotten. The horror of this death was only increased by the fact that it was captured on video. For many people things must be seen in order to be believed. After the public execution of George Floyd on May 25, no one can say that he or she has not seen.
The protests that have erupted around the country are a powerful reminder that George Floyd is not the first, but only one more name in a long list of names of people who have suffered similar injustice. As those names are recalled, they have something in common. The victims of such horrific injustice as that suffered by George Floyd are overwhelmingly African American men. Black Lives Matter.
Historically, we have been enriched by connections with neighboring Butler Tarkington churches and organizations (such as the MLK Center, School 43, and Butler University) to address the challenge of building a stably integrated neighborhood community. At this time of deepening awareness of structural and systemic racism, white privilege, and racial inequities in areas of safety, education, social status, employment, health care, and wealth; we pledge to continue to do so.
This work is not new to St. Thomas. For the past year-and-a-half we have embarked on a journey to actively explore racism and white privilege through book studies, TED Talks, Hesburgh lectures, ministry activities and small discussion groups. As we await the arrival of a new pastor, we will continue to raise up our vision of inclusiveness, through the theme, “‘That They All May Be One’ (Jn 17:21): Racial Justice through Reconciliation”, based on the basic Catholic social teachings of:
- life and dignity of the human person
- call to family, community and participation
- option for the poor and vulnerable
Teachings we should all be following and striving to live by. We look forward to our new pastor’s collaborative leadership with parish and neighborhood leaders to address these themes in the context of racial equality for all. We remain committed to identifying specific actions to be taken and policies to be developed. Our Race and Culture Committee is leading these efforts both within our parish and in partnership with other parishes and church communities.
We believe in faith that love is stronger than hate. We know that Jesus was and is deeply radical and revolutionary in the call to absolute love, compassion and equality, as we are all God’s children. We will not remain silent…Black Lives Matter! We can rely on the risen presence of Jesus and the wisdom of our patron, St. Thomas Aquinas, to assist us as we journey forward with — and through — others to discern our next steps.
Members of the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Council
Shanna Martin Matt Hayes Jennifer S. Lurkins Karen Momper
Cathy Bickel Jackson Herrera Raquel J. Marsh Tim Nation Grace C. DeMoss
Karla Hudecek Sharon Mason Sharon Sperry Christopher Collins