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Just Politics: It’s OK to call something racist

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In this episode of the podcast, our hosts explore America’s troubled relationship with confronting racism.


Listen on: Apple | Google | Spotify

Why do people in the United States struggle with the idea of calling something racist? Sister Emily, Sister Eilis, Joan, and Colin explore America’s troubled relationship with confronting racism, not as a relic of an earlier era but as a present-day evil that is part of both religion and politics in the United States. Since November is Black Catholic History Month, they talk to Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Patricia Rogers, who shares her insight as a Black Catholic sister and a community leader in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood. This episode also features an extended clip from NETWORK’s recent White Supremacy and American Christianity event, in which Just Politics co-host Joan Neal moderated a conversation between Father Bryan Massingale of Fordham University and Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute.


You can learn more at these links:


Just Politics is sponsored by Loyola Press.


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“Black Sisters Testify” in Series of Stories for Black Catholic History Month

“Black Sisters Testify” in Series of Stories for Black Catholic History Month


Sr. Addie Lorraine Walker: “The heroic contribution of Black Catholic Sisters is so often overlooked.”

WASHINGTON – Black Catholic Sisters will share their stories through a variety of media formats during November, Black Catholic History Month, as NETWORK and the National Black Sisters’ Conference come together to present the series “Black Sisters Testify.”


NETWORK will share essays, interviews, and profile of Black Sisters on the NETWORK website, social media, and on “Just Politics,” NETWORK’s new podcast produced with U.S. Catholic. The Sisters participating in the series range from Sisters who helped found the National Black Sisters’ Conference in 1968 to a young Sister who has not yet made final vows.


“Black Catholic Sisters are among the most distinguished justice-seekers in this country and have been for decades,” said Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK. “We are honored to center the journeys of these extraordinary women as an integral part of the story of faith lived out at the service of others, even in the face of racism and neglect. That is the story these Sisters have written with their lives.”


“The heroic contribution of Black Catholic Sisters is so often overlooked, and we are pleased to work with NETWORK to highlight the stories of these women,” said Sr. Addie Lorraine Walker, SSND, President of the National Black Sisters’ Conference. “This November, we celebrate the witness of their lives.”

“Black Sisters Testify” will begin on November 1, All Saints Day, with an essay by Sr. Barbara Beasley, RGS. NETWORK will post and share new content each week over the course of November.


NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. With a 50-year record of accomplishment and more than 100,000 supporters across the country, NETWORK advocates for federal policies that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.

Established in August 1968, the National Black Sisters’ Conference (NBSC) is an inclusive Catholic organization of vowed Black Catholic Women Religious and Associates from many congregations of religious across the United States. The NBCS holds an annual meeting and co-sponsors a joint conference of NBSC, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC), National Association of Black Catholic Deacons (NABCD) and their wives, and the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association (NBCSA).

For Immediate Release: October 31, 2022
Contact: Colleen Ross | | 202-601-7877

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Going Home Like a Shooting Star:

Thea Bowman's Journey to Sainthood



A new documentary from NewGroup Media and the Diocese of Jackson, MS, Going Home Like a Shooting Star: Thea Bowman's Journey to Sainthood, presents the riveting life of Sister Thea Bowman. Sr. Thea was an African American Catholic Franciscan Sister who used her powerful gifts to educate and challenge the church and society to grow in racial inclusivity. Her preaching, music, and teaching skills moved many Catholics to begin confronting their racism. At the same time, she urged her African American brothers and sisters to claim their gifts and share their & personhood.   Thea worked tirelessly to proclaim this message until her untimely death from breast cancer in 1990.


The film features interviews and commentary from her family, Sisters in the community, colleagues, friends, and former students. Input from African American scholars, clerics, and bishops will speak to the ongoing issue of systemic racism in the church and country.   Extensive use is made of archival media that portrays Thea in action--photographs, film, video, and audio recordings recorded in locations of significance to her life. The program title is drawn from a quotation attributed to Sojourner Truth. When Thea was asked what she wanted to be said at her funeral, she answered, "Just say what Sojourner Truth said: I'm not going to die. I'm going home like a shooting star.

The film, part of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission's fall documentary season, will begin airing on ABC stations nationwide on October 2, 2022. Streaming opportunities will be announced soon by the Diocese of Jackson, MS. Sister Judith Ann Zielinski, OSF, researched, wrote, and produced the film, from early COVID-quarantined research in spring 2020 through fund-raising, location production, scriptwriting, and delivery to ABC in fall 2022.  She coordinated dramatic re-enactments from Thea's childhood and early convent life. She conducted all the program's interviews—with Thea's childhood friends, former students, teaching colleagues, two bishops, several priests, and Franciscan Sisters, weaving together their personal memories and testimonies as a basis for the script. Sister Thea Bowman is included in the inclusive icons at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in NYC, NY, by renowned local artist Patricia Brintle. 


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