As most of you know I love history and that is how I came to write about my experience growing up as a catholic. And I discovered a lot of history in the process. Ms. Shanell found me on my twitter account and was curious about my catholic upbringing and my politics. So I have an interview on Blogtalkradio with Ms. Shanell. Call 323-693-3027 @ 9:30pm on Tuesday August 27th to get in on the conversation and we will have fun with the topic.
The main reason I was inspired to write the book was to fill a glaring omission of history. Working at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in a second career opened my eyes to the fact that there is just not a lot of black people represented at all levels of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s catholic community. I found that to be quite unsettling when I looked at how I was raised…in a black community and black catholic church. It didn’t allow me any room to understand that my race was not the only race represented in the scheme of things. It was like a culture shock as I discuss in the book under “A personal Perspective”. You’ll have to read it for yourself to get the full picture.
I also learned that there is a lot of hurt out there by folks who were raised in the catholic schools (didn’t necessarily become Catholics) and some (Catholics) came away with bad experiences. Fortunately for me, my experiences were minimal compared to others who grew up with me. But I discuss my pains and hurts while trying not to knock the Catholic Church, which was pretty darn hard to do.
Anyway, I was on a mission to get our rightful place in history, including being able to find something about our community on the internet, because when I started out, there was nothing and I do mean literally nothing. Now you can search under my name and “Our Lady of Victory, Detroit” will come up and you won’t just get OLV in Novi which is what was coming up when I got started on this project. There is still room for improvement on what comes up but its a start.
So I can say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! And know that if I don’t sell any more books, it won’t change the fact that our name is out there now.
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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