A Thanksgiving Message

November 24, 2020

Dear Members of the Holy Cross Community,

This week, we will celebrate our annual ritual of Thanksgiving. Because of the pandemic which is rapidly spreading across our country and world, it won’t be the typical celebration. It will be smaller, simpler, subdued, and for that, maybe deeper. For this year, the quiet simplicity of our celebration invites us toward a more profound appreciation of what we do have because of what we are missing.

We are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy as a people, and in gratitude and for justice we must work to ensure that they are appropriately realized and shared by every person and community within our society.

We are deeply grateful for health, for the selfless care of medical professionals, service workers, first responders and relentless researchers. To honor and protect them and one another, we will demonstrate our appreciation by the way we observe socially distanced ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

At the College of the Holy Cross, we daily celebrate the blessings of education, of the patient pursuit of truth, and of the myriad perspectives which are represented in and beyond our campus community. These require that we listen carefully to one another, that we pay special attention to those whose voices and experiences have been ignored or silenced in the past, and that we aren’t afraid to enter into difficult conversations because of our deep desire for a stronger and more perfect union of minds and hearts.

In an election year when our country is deeply divided and stressed, we pray for the wisdom and courage we need to seek ways of “inviting in” and not "shouting out." We strive to commit acts of gentle kindness and daring humility, and to reach out to our neighbors whose perspectives might be different from ours but whose deepest desires are often quite similar. With patience and persistence we commit to working together to find a new common ground.

Because we may not be able to enjoy the presence and company of our loved ones this Thanksgiving, let us seek someone else’s loved ones, and especially extend appropriate care for our homeless, our impoverished, our imprisoned, our neglected and forgotten, and safely share with them out of our bounty and even our own need.

And for all of us who share faith in a merciful and forgiving God, whose son, Jesus, has promised eternal life to those who live with compassion, justice and love, let us live in the hope that there will be a time for future thanksgiving because what we are suffering now gives us all ample opportunity to live what we believe and share what we have.

With deep gratitude for you and all that you do for others,

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.