Marking November 1st - both the Solemnity of All Saints and the first day of Black Catholic History Month - FutureChurch opened its multi-year anti-racism project, "Women Witnesses for Racial Justice" with a prayer service inspired by the witness of Sr. Antona Ebo, a civil rights icon who marched for voting rights in Selma, desegregated her congregation, and worked for racial justice until her death in November 2017.
The prayer service was led by Sister Nicole Trahan, a member of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and a well known writer, preacher, and beloved teacher.
Joan Stattler, a leader for Call To Action Maryland, began our liturgy of the word with a passage from Galatians.
Danielle Harrison, the co-director of the Jesuit program Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project and a mentee of Sr. Antona Ebo read a selection from the Sr. Antona Ebo biography in the FutureChurch resource.
Sr. Christine Schenk, FutureChurch co-founder and columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, read the words of Olga Segura in How Can Catholics Help Lead the Fight Against Racism?.
Leslye Colvin, NETWORK board member and communication director for Gathering for Mission, which provides practicums in dialogue for dioceses read from her own piece, To My Catholic Brothers and Sisters with White Bodies.
And following a moment of quiet reflection on the readings, Karen Gargamelli-McCreight, co-founder of Benincasa Community, offered some reflection on how she - as a white Catholic - responded to the readings, modeling the work self examination and transformation, the project aims to achieve.
Jim Carr, music director at St. Dominic parish in Shaker Heights, Ohio, led the music.