Dear Cathedral Family,
Allow me to start this letter with a very huge: We love you and we miss you! And thank you for all the support messages, cards and letters we received all last semester and through Christmas. To say that 2020 was a hard year is an understatement, which is why it has been especially meaningful to see the smiles in the faces of Mercedes, and Belen when we received your news, your messages, and your words of encouragement. Thank you for reminding us that we belong with our greater Cathedral Family.
Living in this beautiful mountain feels like being constantly surrounded by God’s presence. Our Sewanee community is very loving and supportive, and we have been involved as much as COVID protocols have allowed us to. Life in community has been a blessing that continues revealing itself week after week, even with the limitations of these times.
One of the things I have learned about Sewanee that has impacted me greatly is that the University of the South is reckoning with its past and its historical relationship with slavery and its legacies. As a result, the Roberson Project for Race and Reconciliation is helping Sewanee confront its history in order to seek a more just and equitable future for our broad community. Being the only Latina student in the whole School of Theology, has been greatly consequential to my formation. I am now part of a community that is having the hard conversations, and is asking me to be at the table where these conversations are happening. I feel incredibly privileged to be here. Also, last year the University of the South, in collaboration with the Latino Student Association, and the School of Theology celebrated the first ever Day of the Dead. We created altars, and we honored the lives of beloved members of our local and greater community lost to COVID, Racial Injustice, immigrant persecution and violence of gender.
I am very much looking forward to this next era at Christ Church Cathedral. With the leadership of the Vestry and of our new Dean, the Rev. Gray Lesesne, let us continue walking and working together to widen the circle of God’s embrace.
Blessings to all.
Yuri, Belén and Mercedes.