In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15, Lansing Catholic High School (LCHS) is once again providing a day of special programming. As it has for more than 15 years, Lansing Catholic will heed the words of Dr. King’s late wife, Coretta Scott King, by making it “a day on, not a day off.”
This year, the school will close on the holiday as the faculty and staff participate in an intercultural competency workshop. The workshop will support Lansing Catholic’s efforts to ensure that Dr. King’s message of justice and equality are embedded in the curriculum year round and that the school’s environment is one that promotes and protects the dignity of all people.
The teachings of the Catholic Church are very clear: racism and every form of discrimination “… must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design” (Catechism, par. 1935 and Gaudium et Spes, no. 29).
As Catholics, as followers of Christ, and as human beings, we abhor racism and know it to be sinful. The sin of racism rejects God by rejecting the reality of his image in the other, the stranger, the one who is different. Each person is a living expression of God that must be respected and preserved and never dishonored.
This begins with education. Teaching respect for the dignity of every person is critical to combating this sin. A proper education directly confronts the evils of racism that seek to demean and dehumanize those who are seen as “other.” We are committed to instructing young people that every person reflects God’s image. This is a timeless message of truth and hope.
Schools throughout the Diocese of Lansing support that mission by providing a multitude of opportunities for learning and for service.
At Lansing Catholic High School, every student participates in a variety of multicultural immersion and service opportunities, including but not limited to the following mission trips:
Montgomery, Alabama, where in addition to serving the underprivileged population of Montgomery, LCHS students visit the Birmingham Institute of Civil Rights; the Civil Rights Memorial, and visit Dr. King's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church;
Memphis, Tennessee, where the student/pilgrims serve with Memphis Athletics Ministries, a Christian after-school program for children and teens in the city of Memphis, and they visit the National Museum of Civil Rights.
Flint Immersion Retreat (held each year during Thanksgiving week): a three-day service retreat in the city of Flint, working with Catholic Charities, Food Bank, St. Luke's N.E.W. Life Center, and other organizations;
Pine Ridge Reservation, the poorest reservation in the country, where unemployment hovers at 85%, and half of the population live below the federal poverty level. Lansing Catholic students assist in physical work and offer fellowship; many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water, or sewage systems.
“We pray in confidence that Jesus Christ will remind us all that he is the most powerful means to break the chains of hate that still bind too many hearts, a truth which lies at the center of Dr. King’s legacy.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day