We are motivated by a desire to uncover the truth of people’s stories, to honor their memories and heal relationships, but we acknowledge there is no clear path for us to follow. We hope this project will be a positive contribution to the national conversations on race, prejudice and social justice. It must begin with our own conversations with descendants of the people held in slavery by our predecessors. We hope it will eventually include other members of our communities.
Enslaved people were disregarded and unheard. We will listen to their descendants. We want to learn from them how slavery shaped their families and continues to touch their lives today. We desire to bear witness to their pain and their courage and their abillity to overcome. We want to help them tell their stories.
No one knows where these conversations may lead us. As successors of those who held others in slavery, this process will challenge us, but it is a necessary first step to effect change, to create a new way of being together. We look forward to beginning the journey with our brothers and sisters in God’s family.
The descendants of the men and women held in slavery by Jesuits deserve to know the stories of their ancestors. We pledge to make that information available as quickly as we can in ways accessible to descendants.
Please visit the Reconciliation Resources page to learn more about how we can work together to bring out reconciliation in our world.
The image on this page shows a memorial erected in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis in 2006 by the former Missouri Province. Though they are not buried in Calvary Cemetery, this marker in the Jesuit plot honors the first six enslaved people brought by Jesuits from Maryland to establish the Missouri Mission: Thomas and Mary (also known as Molly or Polly) Brown, Isaac and Susan (called Succy) Queen (alternatively, Hawkins), and Moses and Nancy Queen. As a result of the Jesuits, Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation Project, we now know their full names and more about their lives.