June 5, 2020
From Belmont Abbey College President Dr. Bill Thierfelder:
“The first two words of the Rule of St. Benedict are Listen carefully…
The present unrest has caused me to pause and reflect on our own community. In the spirit of the Rule, I am looking forward to meeting next week with a group of students, faculty, and staff, to listen – carefully – to better understand their experiences and thoughts about what it is like to be a minority and most especially black at BAC. I believe that authentic dialogue grounded in our search for truth and recognition of every person’s dignity will help frame our way forward as a community.”
From Abbot Placid, O.S.B.:
June 4, 2020
Dear Colleagues, Students, and Friends,
Human life is sacred.
The needless and senseless killing of George Floyd, the flagrant disregard for human life and fundamental human dignity, are ills that permeate our society and must be overcome. I hope and pray that you will join me in making a deeper commitment to live and share the Benedictine hallmarks of hospitality and love of neighbor, where we are called to love and welcome every person, of every race and color, as Christ Himself.
We have a strong tradition at the Abbey of defending the innocent and helping those in need, especially those individuals who have been marginalized and persecuted. We might ask, “But what can we do to eliminate the scourge of racism?” The answer is as simple as it is challenging. Begin where we are by loving the people who come into our lives as God has loved us. It is only by loving others that we can truly change hearts and minds.
Here at the Abbey, we will do our part by continuing our mission of educating and forming men and women of character and virtue who can be leaders in their communities and show respect for the God-given dignity of each person, and who have acquired the skills to create vibrant communities where all people can flourish in mutual respect and justice.
We must also strongly condemn physical violence, destruction of property, and looting which are doing great harm to law-abiding people of all races. Terrance Floyd said, “I know my brother would not want violence,” imploring the crowd, “let’s do this peacefully, please.” I hope you will implore others to honor his request as we pray for a peaceful resolution.
Dr. William K. Thierfelder