This is an extraordinary moment. The global pandemic, the economic recession, the public reactions to the murders of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor have converged to highlight landmark challenges: inadequate health care for too many Americans; an economy that does not work to everyone's advantage; patterns of racism embedded in our political, economic, social, judicial and educational systems; a culture that promotes self-interest above the common good of us all.
In the spirit of Vatican Council 2 and Pope Francis, Verbum Dei is responding to the "signs of our times." We are reviewing curriculum and pedagogy so that the full American story is captured in the literature our students read, the history they critically study, and the issues they wrestle with. Our theology program nurtures of faith that expresses itself in acts of compassion, self-sacrifice, justice. Even in this virtual world, Verbum Dei is strengthening the bonds of brotherhood amongst students and promoting a cooperative and supportive community that prioritizes the common good of all. We are even more determined to educate and motivate our students to be the leaders this country needs now more than ever.
Here in Watts, Verbum Dei cooperates with Cooking 4 Kids to distribute packaged meals to our community. We partnered with the Muslim Coalition of America to distribute protective masks to our families. Verbum Dei currently is the distribution center of state-supplied PPE for 72 Catholic schools in the region for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
To paraphrase Mother Theresa of Calcutta, "Verbum Dei can do things you cannot do, and you can do things Verbum Dei cannot do; together we can do great things." Thank you all for your generous support-for working together with Verbum Dei to do "great things" for our students, their families, and our community at this difficult time.
Stephen A. Privett, S.J.