BLESSED IS SHE ON RACISM
Sister in Christ,
It has been an incredibly difficult few months for our world, our nation, our Church, our communities, and ourselves. The past few weeks especially have been appalling, culminating this past week with the death of George Floyd.
Each and every time a new hashtagged name comes up, yet another brother or sister in Christ dead, I am sickened by the racism, the injustice, the lack of mercy and charity we give to each other as humans. These black lives matter.
These atrocities have been occurring in communities of color for centuries and I think this past week has been especially difficult for our African American brothers and sisters to see, yet again another death, and to feel exhausted and at a loss as to what to do from here.
Blessed is She’s Orthodoxy:
Blessed is She is faithful to Church teaching in all things, whether it be what is a sin or how we handle tradition. When I profess my faith (in the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed) as a Catholic woman and organization, I am professing adherence to the Church in all her teachings, and one of those is denouncing racism and acting for justice.
I am sorry for not being clearer about that profession. I apologize to each and every person who has been hurt by my lack of clarity on renouncing the sin of racism. I ask your forgiveness for any pain I have caused you.
I want each and every one of us to be purified by the Holy Spirit, each and every day, starting with myself. I pray for all sin in the world to be eradicated, one heart at a time.
When Ahmaud Arbery was killed, our writer Chika Anyanwu and another BIS staffer had a lengthy conversation about actionable steps that people can take towards acknowledging the pain, learning the stories, and responding in solidarity with our Black communities. Unfortunately, shortly after their conversation, the harassment of Christian Cooper and the slaying of George Floyd took place. Chika and I decided to bring our private conversations into the public sphere so that we could share and listen to the pain of our communities of color and pray for healing and justice. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to watch the video and pray with us. I understand that Chika’s voice is one among many, and I thank her for speaking courageously.
Our Facebook Groups:
We have national and international Facebook groups with 45,000+ women, and unfortunately there are times where these conversations have turned into a place for people to excuse racism, to disrespect women of color’s experiences, or to speak ill of each other because of different opinions.
The ministry of Blessed Is She is built on charity and some posts or comments, being uncharitable, are deleted. This is not meant to penalize or target women of color or to stop fruitful discussions from taking place. We desire fruitful dialogue, but so often the conversations were not bearing good fruit.
We continue to ask each and every woman to do what we as a ministry feel called to do: pray.
This may be a different way to handle it than you would. I understand that. I am listening.
Blessed is She’s Mission:
Our desire is and always has been two-fold: a place for prayer + community. We will continue to foster and facilitate prayer in our own personal lives as well as our interactions on all social media. We are calling one another to personal holiness.
We will continue to listen and walk with our community, including our African American sisters who are in pain.
We would like to continue the dialogue on this topic with you and the community. In the coming weeks, we will facilitate sessions of discussion around the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s document, The Church and Racism: an Introductory Update, on our Facebook page. We also began a curated list of different resources to see a number of life and human dignity topics in a clearer light with resources and and most importantly, specific prayers. We’ve created a PDF for you to download with Scripture as well as conversation starter questions to continue conversations with each other in regards to racial injustice, reconciliation, and God’s movement in our lives.
You are loved. I see you. I hear you. Come, Lord Jesus. Heal me, heal each one of us, heal this Blessed is She community, heal our Church.
Jenna Guizar and the Blessed is She Team