Society of Jesus Apologizes for Role in Slavery

WASHINGTON, DC - On Tuesday, April 18, Fr. Tim Kesicki, President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States and Canada, apologized publicly for the role of the Jesuits in slaveholding, and in particular for the Jesuits' sale of 272 slaves in 1838 for the financial benefit of Georgetown University. This apology was given as part of the Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition, and Hope hosted by Georgetown, the Society of Jesus, and the Archdiocese of Washington in the university's Gaston Hall. Over 100 descendants of these 272 slaves were in attendance, some of whom offered remarks during and after the liturgy. The liturgy was followed by a re-dedication of two of the university's buildings to Isaac Hawkins, the slave named first in the 1838 sales agreement, and Anne Marie Becraft, a free woman of color and one of the Oblate Sisters of Providence who founded a school for African American girls in Georgetown in the 1820s.

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Read Fr. Kesicki's full remarks here, or click below to watch the video: