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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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Get your beautifully bound hardcover copy of Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community on sale while supply lasts. Just click on the “Buy the Book” tab.

Also you have a choice to purchase an ebook:

Our Lady of Victory PDF can be read on any device that can open PDF files.



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A couple of weeks ago, we were busy babysitting our grandchildren while their parents left town for an audition for seventeen year old JaShawn. As a result he was offered a recording contract. Unfortunately, it was not an acceptable offer so they are re-negotiating the contract. In addition. here is what has been happening:

Our 10 year old Grandson Jayavion (pronounced Jay-A-veon)  got the highest score in the country on the MEAP Test. His school district is giving him a dinner for his achievement on May 29th.

Kiera Milan our 7 year old granddaughter models for Kohls and just returned from a photo shoot as of last week. She shot a commercial with Derrick Rose (basketball Player) and has other projects in the works. She has been under agency contract for over a year and has been working steadily ever since.

Kyle, our seventeen year old has been accepted at Perdue University.

So I have been absent because of all that has been going on. We are so proud of our children. Next week I will be back at my regular postings.

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That is the theme for a fundraising campaign throughout Detroit. The one comforting thing is something Msgr. Robert  McClory our pastor said at one of the masses. He has been so impressed with what is going on at Presentation-Our Lady of Victory and because of that he is pledging $6,000. He was emotional telling us how much he loves being at our church and that he specifically asked to be assigned here. Before he arrived here, the members had come together around the deacon’s daughter in law who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her fourth child. Thanks to all the prayers and help she’s doing fine now. Members started bringing dinners to the family (that was a year ago); the Men of Victory started visiting another member also diagnosed with an illness; one of our young members got in trouble but was saved from a long prison term because Fr. Byrnes, Msgr. McClory, Deacon Sanders and church members packed the court room and parishioners wrote letters to save him and it worked. This is what happens when a people come together and help each other through tough times. This was so impressive to the monsignor that he is now the only thing standing between us and a church closing.

At  the 73rd Annual Claver Conference last year a young black priest spoke at a prayer breakfast I attended. He said two things that stood out to me. “You have to have a priest for two reasons: to have a voice in your community, and to receive the sacraments.” Having Msgr. McClory has given us both. His commitment to our parish has put my mind at ease and now I plan to make my pledge knowing that someone higher up is fighting for us. So we got the voice and the sacraments. And that is what changed my mind about our future.

As of this writing we are about 98% on the way to reaching our goal of $123,000.00.


Blog Discovery

You know how we all like to play and win big from publishers clearing house. Well, I got bit again and as I was going thr0ugh the steps to win I had to go on PCHs Search engine in order to qualify for more prizes. So I decided to put in “Our Lady of Victory” and up popped a surprise…a blog about the church and some information on me. I never knew it was there. Here is the link:

They have an active link in there but it is no longer relevant because its a .net address. You will already be on this site so ignore it.

I cannot tell you how surprising it was to read this blog so I want to share it with you.