Concerning Bishop Loras and his ownership of Marie, a slave. Recent discoveries of ledgers tell “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say.
In the 1800s, renting a slave to produce income, was approved of even by a priest, apparently. Presently, it is not approved of, and Loras College had several choices it could have made: destroying the ledgers, hiding, lying, ignoring in the hopes no one would find out. Or, Loras could choose to be proactive, tell the truth, uphold the trust that people have in Loras College. Showing integrity and character means sometimes having to make an unpopular decision. Isn’t this what our country craves right now, instead of the violence, secrecy and lies that fuel the hate we are living?
Bishop Loras’ history will not disappear. His good works will live on. His sins should not be honored, but be learned from. Bishop Loras was a sinner, just like you and me.
Loras College strives to appreciate, support and be proud of the diversity on its campus. Removing the statue was the correct thing to do. Establishing a scholarship in Marie’s name shows the integrity and character of the Loras leadership. To hear alumni say, “I’m done with Loras,” breaks my heart and I am not a Loras alumni.
Be proud of the integrity of the college you graduated from. There should be donors waiting in line to fund the scholarship to honor Marie. I will be.