Georgetown University Asks Forgiveness for Slavery Past

In a somber remembrance ceremony filled with prayer and song, Georgetown University asked for forgiveness and took new steps to right a nearly two-hundred-year-old wrong on Tuesday. Speaking on behalf of the school’s founding fathers, Rev. Timothy Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, began the morning service offering reconciliation to the descendants of 272 women, men, and children sold into slavery to pay off school debts and keep the school afloat in 1838.

“We pray with you today because we have greatly sinned and because we are profoundly sorry,” Rev. Kesicki said. “Forgiveness is yours to bestow in your time and in your way.” More than 100 descendants of the honored slaves attended the ceremony. Sandra Green Thomas, who wore a green ribbon in honor of her ancestors, was among them.

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