Our Parish is Responding to the Call for Racial Justice

In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed, we as a parish committed to confronting our own complicity in systemic racism. Many of you are committed to increasing your awareness of faults in your beliefs and thoughts. Here are some resources to help.

Words from Thomas Merton:

In the midst of the intense struggle for civil rights, Thomas Merton insisted that Christians had a moral duty to address racism—on a personal and systemic level. His words were prophetic at the time and continue to be relevant to this day. In “Seeds of Destruction”, he writes:

The race question cannot be settled without a profound change of heart, a real shake-up and deep reaching metanoia [Greek for repentance or change of mind] on the part of White America. It is not just [a] question of a little more good will and generosity: it is a question of waking up to crying injustices and deep-seated problems which are ingrained in the present setup and which, instead of getting better, are going to get worse.

The purpose of non-violent protest, in its deepest and most spiritual dimensions is then to awaken the conscience of the white people to the awful reality of their injustice and of their sin, so that they will be able to see that the Black problem is really a White problem: that the cancer of injustice and hate which is eating white society and is only partly manifested in racial segregation with all its consequences, is rooted in the heart of the white people themselves.

Gateway to Action & Contemplation:

What word or phrase resonates with or challenges me? What sensations do I notice in my body? What is mine to do?

 

Prayer for Our Community:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.

Recommended Books

Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, by Fr. Bryan Massingale
Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race and Being, by Dr. M. Shawn Copeland
Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, by Kelly Brown Douglas
The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James Cone (or anything by James Cone)
The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (or anything by James Baldwin)

Resources for Learning About Racism

Rhapsody in Black Performance

Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and developed at NYC’s Actors Studio by Estelle Parsons, Rhapsody in Black is a one-man show that explores LeLand’s personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. View this free virtual performance Now through Dec. 6.

Watch

Watch Fr. Bryan Massingale Interview

Father Bryan Massingale, author of “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” and Professor of Theology at Fordham University, joins America's National Correspondant Michael O'Loughlin for a conversation on racism, white privilege and what the church can do to address these issues

Watch

Driving While Black Documentary

Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today. "Driving While Black" explores the deep background of a recent phrase rooted in realities that have been an indelible part of the African American experience for hundreds of years – told in large part through the stories of the men, women and children who lived through it.

Watch

Town Hall Forum on Race

Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., professor of African American studies at Princeton University, at the Minneapolis Westminster Town Hall Forum. His most recent book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, was published this summer. He is a columnist for Time magazine and a regular contributor on MSNBC. His scholarly pursuits and public service were shaped by his years growing up in the coastal town of Moss Point, Mississippi.

Watch

How Whiteness Affected the Election

National Public Radio show discussing the white vote and its effect on the 2020 election. Guests are Eddie Glaude Jr. author, “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own,” and Brittney Cooper associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies, Rutgers University.

Listen

Racism and the Economy

Webinar series explores the economic impact of racism and advances bold ideas and concrete actions to achieve an economy that makes opportunity available to everyone.

Watch

Denial and Silence: Heartbeat of Racism

Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations at American University, is the author of “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” He said recently that denial and silence are the heartbeat of racism.

Read New York Times Opinion Piece

Beginning of the End?

Ibram X. Kendi: Donald Trump has revealed the depths of the country's racism — and has inadvertently forced a reckoning.

Read the story in The Atlantic

Rondo: Beyond the Pavement

MinnPost story about students making a documentary about the gentrification of the Rondo Neighborhood of St. Paul

Read the story

Anti-Racism and Spirituality

“The fight against racism has to focus on emotional and spiritual work as much as it does the external shifts.”

Read

Characteristics of the Dominant Culture

We tend not to see the characteristics of the culture in which we've been raised, so it's important to understand those characteristics and reflect on how they "divide and conquer" discouraging relationships and idolizing production.

Download the PDF

Jim Crow of the North

Roots of racial disparities are seen through a new lens in this film that explores the origins of housing segregation in the Minneapolis area. But the story also illustrates how African-American families and leaders resisted this insidious practice, and how Black people built community — within and despite — the red lines that these restrictive covenants created.

Watch