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2021 Fall Event Program

FutureChurch’s 2021 Fall Event Program includes biographies of our guests, a listing of our event sponsors, advertisements from friends of FutureChurch, and reports and updates on our programming.

View/download the program.

Stations of the Cross: Black Catholic Women Bear Witness

This set of stations reflects on the stories of courageous Black Catholic Women who relied on their faith and dedicated themselves to living and sharing it despite bearing the unjust crosses of racism, slavery, poverty, segregation, sexism, and exclusion. 

Each time Jesus falls, participants are invited reflect on exceprts from Catholic Social Teaching on the issue of race and racism. By doing so, we acknowledge — before God and before one another — that we, as individuals and as a community of believers — have failed to live the Gospel values of freedom, equality, solidarity, and inclusion we claim.

Art: Stations of the Cross by Janet McKenzie. Copyright 2013 by Janet McKenzie. Used with permission. Visit www.janetmckenzie.com.

To learn more, download our resource packet. Women Witnesses for Racial Justice resource packets include:

  • Introductory Remarks
  • Opening and closing prayer
  • Fourteen stations inspired by the research of Shannen Dee Williams and featuring the art of Janet McKenzie
  • Suggested songs

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Black Catholic History Rosary

“We recall the boldness of Bishop Harold Perry, SVD, who challenged his brother bishops to address the overt and covert stains of racism that prevent Black Catholics from fully participating in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.”   Dr. Kirk P. Gaddy

The Black Catholic History Rosary was developed by the late Dr. Kirk P. Gaddy in June of 2014. Dr. Gaddy invites prayers to reflect using the traditional method praying of the Rosary while introducing new mysteries that trace Black Catholic history.

*Please note that Dr. Gaddy’s prayers contain masculine language for God. While FutureChurch generally encourages the use of inclusive and expansive language, we have retained his original wording out of respect for his contribution and in deference to his spirituality. 

To learn more, download this resource. Our resource includes:

  • Guide to praying the Rosary
  • Black Catholic History Rosary

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Racial Justice Excerpts from Catholic Social Teaching

“As Christians, as Catholics, as people of faith, we must do more than just pray; we must model Jesus’ message to love one’s neighbor. Our neighbor cannot breathe! Our neighbor is being lynched! Our neighbor is dying! Our Red Record of Hate must end now!” –  The National Black Sisters’ Conference  

FutureChurch offers key selections on racial justice from Catholic Social Teaching, including excepts from documents by The National Black Sisters’ Conference, The Second Vatican Council, Black Catholic Bishops of the United States, the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

To learn more, download this resource packet. This resource includes:

  • Excerpts from Catholic Social Teaching
  • Questions for reflection and conversation

Download

Essential Readings on Racial Justice

“The goal for Black people has never been charity; it is full justice, human rights, freedom and the complete dismantling of white supremacy, beginning with the church.”  – Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D.

FutureChurch offers two articles from two leading Catholic Scholars – historian Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D., and theologian, Rev. Bryan M. Massingale, Ph.D. – on racial justice along with questions for reflection and dialogue.

Shannen Dee Williams is the Albert Lepage Assistant Professor of History at Villanova University. She is completing her first book, Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle. In 2018, she received the inaugural Sr. Christine Schenk Award for Young Catholic Leadership from FutureChurch for using history to foster racial justice and reconciliation in religious congregations of women. 

Bryan N. Massingale is the James and Nancy Buckman Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University in New York. He is the author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.

To learn more, download our resource packet. This resource includes

  • Articles
  • Questions for reflection and conversation

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Mother Mary Lange

“My sole wish is to do the will of God.”

Elizabeth Clarisse Lange, later known as Mother Mary Lange founded the first community for Black women religious in the United States.

She had a profoundly tranformative impact on the life of the Catholic Church. Of French and African dissent she was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1784. Other oral traditions indicate she may have been born in Haiti. Her family fled the violence and uncertainty of the Haitian Revolution immigrating first to Cuba in one of Santiago’s French-speaking neighborhoods. During her childhood, she received an excellent education.

Sometime in the early 1800s Elizabeth and her mother Annette left their lives of relative wealth and comfort in Cuba to come to the United States. Her father did not join them. Although the reason for their departure is not clear, some speculate that the mother and daughter decided to leave in 1808 when the newly established government in Cuba required all non-Spanish citizens to sign an oath of allegiance to the king of Spain. Mother Lange always identified herself as French – even to her soul.

They arrived in the United States at Charleston, South Carolina but only remained a short time before making their way to Norfolk, Virginia and finally to Baltimore, Maryland by 1813. Here Eizabeth made her home in the Fells Point area of the city where she felt at home amongst an already sizable community of fellow French speaking Afro-Caribbeans. Her mother, on the other hand, returned to the West Indies.

In the United States, Lange courageously faced multiple oppressions. First, she was a Black women in a white male dominated culture. Secondly, she was an immigrant and a Catholic in a nation where virulent anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic movements were rearing up. Native-born Protestants, mostly in urban areas, felt threatened by the new arrivals. To many Protestants, the Catholic Church represented tyranny and potential subjugation to a foreign power. On a practical level, competition for jobs increased as new laborers arrived. As anti-immigrant and anti–Catholic feelings arose, nativist groups began to form in cities across the United States. Finally, Lange was a free Black woman in a nation where slavery was fiercely defended and religiously sanctioned and where Maryland, a slave state, resisted freeing slaves even after the Emancipation Proclaimation of Jan 1, 1863. It was not until November 1, 1864 that Maryland declared slaves free which was just a few months before Congress approved the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

To learn more, download our resource packet. Women Witnesses for Racial Justice resource packets include:

  • Biography/Essay
  • Questions for reflection and conversation
  • Original art by Chloe Becker
  • Prayer Service
  • Suggestions for taking action in your community

Download

Sister Antona Ebo

“I am here because I am a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, and because I want to bear witness…. I’m here today because yesterday [in Saint Louis] I voted.”

On Sunday March 7, 1965, Alabama state troopers and local police beat and bloodied civil rights activists who had begun a 50-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. Immediately following the “Bloody Sunday” attack, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. issued a call for church leaders around the country to come to Selma and to join in the struggle for civil rights.

On March 10th, Sister Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, took off from Saint Louis, Missouri to Selma on a chartered plane that she joked had been pulled out of mothballs. The March 11th cover of The New York Times featured a photo of Sister Ebo marching alongside other protesters. That photo would become an iconic image of the struggle for voting rights.

Throughout her life — both before and after Selma — Sister Ebo, who died in 2017, was a civil rights pioneer. She credited the Holy Spirit for guiding her throughout her life and often sang the black spiritual, “I’m Gonna Do What the Spirit Says Do” whenever she talked to audiences about her experience in Selma and the ongoing struggle for racial justice. Indeed, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may be the only explanation for how Sister Ebo ended up in Selma

To learn more, download our resource packet. Women Witnesses for Racial Justice resource packets include:

  • Biography/Essay
  • Questions for reflection and conversation
  • Original art by Chloe Becker
  • Prayer Service
  • Suggestions for taking action in your community

Download

Artist: Chloe Becker. Comissioned by FutureChurch. 

Enacting Vatican II: Four-part Series with Maureen Sullivan, OP

Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP leads this four-part education series about the contributions of theologians who laid the groundwork for the Council, the documents, and how to make Vatican II a greater reality today. Videos to each of the presentations and PDFs of Sr. Maureen’s presentations can be found below.

Dr. Maureen Sullivan is a Dominican Sister of Hope from New York and Professor Emerita of Theology at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. She received her master of arts in Theology from Manhattan College in the Bronx and her PhD in Theology from Fordham University, also in the Bronx. The Second Vatican Council, along with its impact on our Church, is at the center of her theological research. She has written two books on Vatican II: 101 Questions and Answers on Vatican II (2002) and The Road to Vatican II: Key Changes in Theology (2007), both published by Paulist Press.

 

Session One – General Introduction

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Session Two – The Council Looks at the Modern World

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Session Three – The Council Looks at the Laity

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Session Four – The Council Looks at the Church Itself

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