70 YEARS OF CLAVER SERVICE

I had planned on writing something else this week but something came up and the topic has changed:

Yesterday Saturday, June 8, 2013 I attended  the 70-Year Commemoration Celebration of the Knights of St. Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary at Christ the King Church in Flint, Michigan. The reason I bring this up is because I wrote about  their founder, Fr. Norman Dukette, in my book (P. 165, 3rd Paragraph down and P.176 1st sentence & 2nd paragraph). You see, Fr. Dukette was practically the only archdiocesan black priest in the Detroit diocese in the early years of the 20th century.  He was banned from serving here and was sent to Flint in 1929 to start up a new church from scratch.  Archdiocesan priest are not missionaries, they do not start up new churches but that’s what they did to Fr. Dukette. He founded St. Benedict the Moor in Detroit in 1927 and Christ the King in Flint in 1929. He left Detroit under mysterious circumstances and, well, you’ll just have to read the book to get the full story. It begins on page 180 under St. Benedict the Moor.

I tell you, when I started digging up history I was surprised at the stories I began to uncover. It always seem to go back to racism. I’m sorry, but I do not apologize for being the messenger. I put a disclaimer in my introduction of sorts because I almost didn’t complete the book because I got so shaken after presenting the manuscript to a priest who told me the book was fascinating but that he could not support it and practically pushed me out of his office while a local magazine reporter was sitting in the waiting room.. The reporter was so shocked that he asked me for my phone number so he could get the scoop behind what was happening to me. That disclaimer is in the Introduction on page 3. The deacon at the church I worked for at the time as the business manager, told me to “keep on writing and don’t let nobody stop you”. And with words of encouragement from my husband, I continued on. But this book almost didn’t get written because I was uncovering so many secrets that weren’t exactly meant to be found and folks were getting edgy.

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