As Catholic Christians, we are called to recognize the dignity of every human life. Scripture tells us we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and our faith calls us to treat each other accordingly. We are called to Love God and love one another. We recognize, though, that there have been times in this country when we have not treated all people equally. We hope that these resources will help you learn more about our Catholic Social Teaching and help you have discussions with your family and friends. We hope that these resources will help you deal with and process the many emotions that fill us these days. May we all work and pray for peace and unity among all people.
Racism divides us, reveals our lack of moral integrity, limits our capacity to act together, denies the talents and contributions of so many, and convicts us of violating the religious principles and the national values we proclaim. At this Public Dialogue by Georgetown University, four African-Americans—an archbishop, an academic leader, a pro-life advocate, and an anti-poverty leader—helped us understand and act in response to this crisis. Take the time to watch this eye-opening and powerful webinar – “Racism in Our Streets and Structures: A Test of Faith, A Crisis for our Nation.”
Giving Myself Permission to Feel: What I’ve Learned From Bringing My Anger, Grief, and Sadness to God (Article)
“I can learn a lot from the psalmist. When I’m struggling with strong feelings such as sadness, anger, fear, or grief, I too can give myself permission to feel. Permission to speak to God and others honestly and openly. I too can also rise out of it by making a choice to trust that God is with me through my struggles and suffering.” Read on for Anna Maria Sevilla’s reflection on giving herself permission to feel strong and negative emotions.
“It is never easy to discuss or talk about racism. We, especially as the Catholic Church, need to be able to share our hurts and challenges. People that benefit from society’s social structures and institutions may not see the necessity of addressing this issue, but as long as one part of the Body of Christ is affected, we all are. Only when we truly challenge the norms that may cause divisions (on both sides) will we be able to come together as the loving Church that we were created to be. We must put aside our stereotypes and fears and look at one another as brothers and sisters made in the image of God.” Read on for more from Dr. Ansel Augustine.
Father Steven Bell, CSP, shares his journey of faith as a convert to Catholicism, Paulist priest, and member of the Black Catholic community. He shares his perspective on how we can support our Black brothers and sisters in the Church.
Father Bryan Massingale, activist and professor of theological and social ethics, discusses racism in America and how we can learn, listen, and move forward in faith.
Viewing Ourselves as One Family (Podcast)
Father Dave and Brett discuss the need to view each other as one family in light of the current civil unrest and racial injustices we see in our country.
‘I Am Trayvon Martin’ (Podcast)
“We are called to see the value and dignity of human life and make sure that the world provides a place where we all are treated like children of God.” Read on for more from Dr. Ansel Augustine.
“A Response to Racism“ (Podcast)
On this episode Commonweal speaks with Fr. Bryan Massingale, author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church and professor of theology at Fordham University in New York. Racism persists in America and the church, Massingale contends, because racist policies and structures benefit white people—and white people assent to it through a kind of perverse “liturgy.” Massingale also tells us what Americans shocked at Floyd’s death, particularly white bystanders, need now: the virtue of courage, motivated by righteous anger. We must move beyond the mere conviction that racism is wrong, and actually begin dismantling it.
Coming Together: Talking with Kids and Teens about Racism. (Podcast) This is a well done podcast that also has useful powerpoint slides to view.
VIDEOS for Parents to share with their Children
Watch this wonderful 6 minute video from the beloved Sesame Street as Gordon reads the book We’re Different, We’re the Same.
For Elementary Aged Children – Watch this Read Aloud: The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Discuss the question at the end of the video.
Check out PBS Kids for more resources on Teaching your children about Black History.
ARTICLES on Racism and talking to your Children about Racism
How to Talk to Kids About Race and Racism (Parent Toolkit)
The steps (broken down in the article):
- Actually talk about it
- Set the example
- Navigate their curiosity
- Make it relatable
- Address mistakes
- Be an advocate
This article from National Geographic offers great tips on talking to your children about race. Read the article here.
This article from Buzzfeed offers seven specific areas to consider in raising race-conscious children. Read the article here.
Some more helpful articles:
- How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race | NPR
- Teaching Your Child About Black History Month | PBS
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
- An All Inclusive List of Resources can be found here