E Perry wrote:
Book arrived in this morning’s mail. Ripped off the wrapper and looked at all the pictures (of course!) and along the way took notice of how beautifully laid out, well-researched, and cataloged your book is! It was indeed worth the wait. Now, I plan to spend the better part of the day getting into it.
Thank you, Shirley. You have done us all a great service.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 5:16:40 PM
Awesome, Shirley! I am happy to have this! Leonard was one of my favorite altar boys, so efficient.
Thank you! Congratulations and continued success.
I have read and appreciated the book. I have put it in my reading pile again to re-read and, this time, make notes. I am so happy you did this.
“Live happily ever after!”
Thursday, August 2, 2007 10:13:27 AM
Joseph L. Baril” wrote:
> I received the book today, & It’s really good. I am very happy with
> the research & dedication to write this book. The story needed to be
> told. The story has a TV movie appeal to it.
Re: OLV School
Monday, October 22, 2007 11:38:35 AM
Thank you Shirley, for taking the initiative to capture our OLV history. Like so many others, I was one of the first students to enter the school in the first grade. I have a lot of very fond memories of the school and my teachers. When my kids were younger, I pointed out the church, school, and activity center to them. It was shocker enough to see the name changed on the school and to see the front of the church remodeled. Now to know that the school with its shiney waxed floors, meticulously clean restrooms, spotless grounds, and where I took music lessons from Mrs Baits after school has been demolished, really forces the reality of change. The physical history of my elementary days have vanished, but the memories linger on.
Thank you again.
September 16, 2007
Congratulations on your book. Your writing style is easily readable. I went to U of D High School years ago. Much of the area brought back memories.
President & CEO
November 4, 2007
To: Shirley Slaughter:
I can never thank you enough for this beautiful book. You have given me a lifetime of memories. I have not finished this wonderful book. I read and stop, going into my memory bank, sometimes laughing, crying, smiling.
God Bless you for your hard work, but my life has been, in reading this book, not so bad. I’ve lived a wonderful life so far…looking forward to continuing. Thank you from my heart.
Love in Christ
Thurs. Nov. 8, 2007
We read your article in the Detroit Free Press today. It was very enjoyable. I also visited your web site, what a very professional piece of work. You certainly have something to be proud of. I can tell that you have a great passion for this vocation. The hand of God has been with you and have blessed you greatly. Stay encouraged and keep up the good work.
Alvin & Alice
From: Edmond Bondy
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 11:07 AM
I have been meaning to let you know how much I enjoyed your book, as I was unaware of the problems that you faced.
I guess even an old guy can learn some things.
The best Ed.
Tue, 4 Mar 2008
I didn’t forget Shirley. I actually started to write it. So you will get it soon. Did you read Aubrey’s book about Sacred Heart? I haven’t finished yet, but it also is very good. Quite different from yours. I have recommended your book to many…
leonardc441 has left a new comment on your post…
As a former of OLV, presently living in Louisiana. I’am looking forward to reading the history of OLV. The mentioning of Miss Bates, brought back fond memories of OLV: the fish fries of first Fridays, my Dad cooking ribs, etc. I remember when Cardinal Mooney blessed our school and the visit of a cardinal, who became Pope (his name escapes me). There so much history of this beloved Black Church on Eight Mile and Washburn.
Thanks for writing the book. I hope to attend the book signing August 19.
Leonard C. Wilson
Posted by leonardc441 to Remember Our Lady of Victory at July 20, 2007 8:49 AM
On Sun, 9/28/08, Stan Kaftan wrote:
From: Stan Kaftan
Subject: Amazon Review “Our Lady of Victory” – Finally 🙂
Date: Sunday, September 28, 2008, 11:14 PM
Good Evening Shirley:
It has been several weeks since I chatted with you and I would like to apologize for not getting back with you sooner. Life has been busy, to say the least ..lol. I wanted you to know that I finally had a chance to write a “Five Star” review on your wonderful book for Amazon, you should be able to access it directly on Amazon; however, here it is:
“I happened onto this book by accident and I am so grateful I did. Author Shirley Harris-Slaughter wrote an incredibly compelling story of the roots of success of a growing Black Catholic community and parish, Our Lady of Victory in Detroit, MI. She highlights both the joys and struggles of the parishioners in their evolution of both the parish school & church. The book takes the reader on a trip, from the literal movement of the old St. Juliana Church, to the early beginnings of this Black Catholic neighborhood, to the immense contributions of the early priests and nuns, to the sad ongoing neglect of the Archdiocese of Detroit. This book is a must for any reader searching for religious perseverance, especially in the Black Catholic community. Follow the strides this parish made over its numerous years of existence, their immense camaraderie and their sorrows. The photos, both interior and exterior of this lovely church and school bring the reader to the world of yesteryear. Ms. Slaughter is one of the most gifted and talented writers around. Her story is both balanced and heartfelt. Five Stars! I truly enjoyed this cover to cover.”
I truly believe the Good Lord spoke through you for all of Our Lady of Victory’s parishioners both past and present in your words and thoughts. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. Have a wonderful week, my friend!
October 15, 2008
I enjoyed talking with you about your book. I’d like to talk with you further about your experience publishing. In the meantime you asked if I would write a testimonial on the book. So here goes:
“Our Lady of Victory” is not only a collection of memories; it is a well-researched history of a very successful church that failed. The book gives you some of the reasons why it closed in the midst of its success. It’s complicated as its history exists in the midst of the history of the city and the country in terms of race relations.
The people that worked so hard met with many difficulties, such as changing pastors, missionary status, with a lack of belief that these black people could be all that the Church wanted. It explains some reasons why there are so few black priests and religious. It makes it even more amazing that there are any Black Catholics. But it was all done in the name of Catholicism.
To me it was a personal journey. I never went to Our Lady of Victory, but I went to several other ‘missionary’ Catholic Churches, not knowing what that meant. Throughout the book were weaved names of priests, people and Churches that I knew in my journey from the age of about 11 when I was introduced to the Catholic Church and school.
I live in the vicinity of ‘The Wall” and knew of its existence, but after reading about it, had to drive to look see. I’ve frequently attended Presentation, which is down the street from me, but I am a member of and regularly attend the Catholic Church of the Madonna.
The growth of Our Lady of Victory was amazing and a tribute to the faith of a group of Catholics who happened to be Black. They effectively created a Catholic community in their works to create this Church. This atmosphere could have helped to soften the racial tribulations of the city on a broader scale had more eyes and hearts been opened.
Ms. Harris-Slaughter has done an admirable job in painting picture not only of the creation of OLV, but also of the Church and the metropolitan area of Detroit in explaining race relations at that time.
Book Review Testimonial
Here is a facebook review from a nun who influenced me while attending Our Lady of Victory School, who got the chance to read my book…
May 19, 2009
Dear Shirley: I am so very pleased that you were able to share with me this very excellent volume of research and faith history.
“Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community” is a well written, well researched poignant account of the foundation of a Catholic community. It chronicles a community as it develops into a viable parish (mission) but reflects systemic racism pervading the Catholic Church during the mid twentieth century. In spite of almost insurmountable difficulties, past and future generations will be inspired by the testimony of one woman’s determined, faith-filled action (Mother Bates). It tells of the courage of true disciples of Christ (the priests) who shied from neither the hardships nor socially unpleasant. The Oblate Sisters of Prividence are portrayed as the ‘glue’ of Catholic (Christian) faith, hope and love, and the people of God the persevering standard bearers of faith in a punishing society.
When I first heard of your book Shirley, I was pleased. We Oblates are always pleased when one of “ours” makes a positive contribution to society by their lives and through creating with God by the work of their hands.
When I received your book I was impressed. It is a well researched, comprehensive, well written volume for which, as one of Our Lady of Victory teachers and an Oblate Sister of Providence, I feel justifiable pride.
In reading OLV The Saga, it became quite personal. I thrilled upon meeting old friends, renewing memories of situations–reminiscing. I experienced the “you were there” phenomenon. It was quite a journey.
Thank you Shirley, for your generosity. Thank you for sharing the fruit of successful writing. It is a vital evangelizing tool. May it, please God, go beyond boundaries of pleasing local participants, but penetrate and transform the Catholic Church in welcoming and supporting the rich diversity of all who call Christ, Lord.
In God’s providential care,
Sister Virginie Fish, OSP.
Awarded in 2014…
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