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"What Does It Mean to Be Black in the Church and Society"
Sr. Thea Bowman Addresses Bishops
SUMMARY OF THE ISSUE
Racism is a serious problem in the United States and globally. The Catholic Church has been affected by limited mind-sets and racial division. As followers of Jesus, we are called to love one another. However, we have been blindsided by our history and cultural dominance.
Today, there are still those of the mindset that the issue of racial injustice is social rather than moral. In the dialogue on racism, the Church is moving in a slow advance. However, the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary have been inspired by the recent Pastoral Letter on Racism to move forward on this issue of racism with a new sense of urgency. Councils and Courts must address racism in ways that will move people to become more active in the dialogue an eradication of racism.
Let’s Begin the Discussion! Councils and Courts are asked to organize an activity to start the conversation regarding Racism in America.
- The USCCB is asking all of their bishops to strongly encourage priests in their dioceses to focus their homilies on September 9 on racism and the works of St. Peter Claver as he cared for the slaves.
- The Racism Committee should convene a meeting when national issues of racism are detected to determine if the issue should be brought to the attention of the Supreme Knight to make a statement to be published nationally.
- Organize an event to discuss Racism with members of the majority race during November - Black Catholic History Month
- Organize events during the Month of February -Black History Month -to discuss Racism
- Listening Sessions with Bishops in all Dioceses.
- Collaboration with other national organizations to organize discussion opportunities regarding racism.
- Conversations with young people regarding the importance of voting to protect their rights and racism connection to slavery.
- Immigration - minister to our brothers and sisters being affected negatively by recent immigration policies. Be an ear to listen to their concerns.
- Identify and create resources that will engage people in the dialogue on racism
- Host discussion workshops on "The Racial Divide" and "Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call To Love"
- Walk in My Shoes Field Trip for Pastors, Parish Councils, Finance Councils, Diocesan Pastoral Centers
- Race Survey - Implicit Association Test
- Youth Empowerment Workshop/Retreat etc.
- Host a Black Catholic History Breakfast or Lunch or Wine-Cheese Chat
- READ "Open Wide Our Hearts, the Enduring Call to Love" a pastoral letter against Racism published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- View and participate in webinars on Racism by the Knights of Peter Claver, Inc., the National Black Catholic Congress and the Catholic Apostolate Center
- View the DVD "Cracking the Code"
- World Trust, through film and dialogue, ignites courage and expands capacity to create a world free from racism
- U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Responding to the Sin of Racism
- Local Chapters of the N.A.A.C.P. and Urban League
- Race Survey – The Implicit Test
- American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrants’ Rights Project
- Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF)
- National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Project
- Catholic Legal Immigration Network
COUNCILS/COURTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO
- If your council/court members are not already participating in events to overcome racism, please consider at least the pathway of prayer.
- Please know, brothers/sisters that Prayer is the most important part of the awareness to end racism.
- If you have developed a program within your Council/Court concentrating on ending racism or are working with an organization involved with ending racism, please let us know.
If you are interested in working on this committee, please contact us via the information provided below.
Knight Milton A. Bellard, Jr.
Cn. #141 - Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lady Elease Amos-Goodwin
Ct. #110 - Charleston, South Carolina