Equity and Inclusion


In response to the proposal from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) that congregations focus on the dismantling of racism, the Adrian Dominican Sisters begin by identifying resources that can assist us in raising our consciousness of white privilege and white supremacy, both personally and systematically.

Our Toward Communion: Undoing Racism and Embracing Diversity Committee and our Justice Promoters are collaborating on a Black Catholic Project that begins on January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This project seeks to provide information on prominent Blacks and Black Catholics who have made significant contributions to the church and society, along with reflection questions and a prayer.

 

Equity and Inclusion Project

rss

Click here to return to the latest update


Servant of God Julia Greeley

Julia Greeley Servant of God

Servant of God Julia Greeley

Julia Greeley was born into slavery on a Missouri farm sometime in the 1840s. As a slave, she was physically abused and became permanently lame. She lost an eye in a beating given to her mother.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, Julia was brought to Colorado by a wealthy woman, a Mrs. Dickerson, who later married William Gilpin, the first territorial governor of Colorado. Mrs. Dickerson was a Catholic and influenced both her husband and Julia herself to become baptized. Julia worked for the Dickerson family as a housekeeper and nanny.

In addition to her job with the governor's family, Julia was a familiar sight on Denver’s streets. She wore a floppy black hat and pulled a little red wagon, filled with food, clothing, and firewood for those in need. She used her weekly salary to buy these items, and when she ran short, she begged for items for her wagon. Julia was dedicated to the poor and had a special love for firefighters.

Julia was known for her Catholic Faith, and attended daily Mass at her parish, Sacred Heart Church. She had a deep love and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Therefore, it was fitting tribute that she died on June 7, 1918, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And it was in Sacred Heart Church, her parish, that her funeral was held which attracted large crowds of mourners. Julia Greely was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

After her death in 1918, Frances Wayne, a Denver Post reporter wrote, that her legacy included “eighty-five years of worthy living ... unselfish devotion ... and a habit of giving and sharing herself and her goods.”  In late 2016, her heroic life was officially recognized by the Catholic Church, which began the canonization process to declare Julia a saint. Her body has been moved to the Denver Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Today her official name is Servant of God Julia Greeley.

 

Resources

Biographical Information

Learn more about Julia Greeley and see a short video about her at www.JuliaGreeley.org 

Black Catholic History

Black Catholics in the American Catholic Church
Sister Jamie T. Phelps, OP, discusses Black Catholics in America with Dr. Paul Lakeland for Fairfield University's "Voices of Others" video series: https://youtu.be/nTiNC7j-mZQ 

African-American Catholicism and St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Chicago, Illinois
Ninety years ago, St. Monica’s Catholic Church, the precursor of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, was the first Black Catholic Parish in the United States. Learn more in this news broadcast: https://youtu.be/hzr9L9KOBzo


Reflection Questions

1) How many more “people of color” who lived lives of holiness are hidden from our history?

2) How can these stories be “uncovered” and made known to today's Catholics?

3) Are you aware of how the rigid lines of separation and discrimination continue to maintain white supremacy in our society?

 

Prayer

This prayer was approved on June 29, 2017, by Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver for private use:

Heavenly Father, your servant Julia Greeley dedicated her life to honoring the Sacred Heart of your Son and to the humble service of the poor. 

Grant to me a generous heart like your Son’s, and if it be in accordance with your holy will, please grant this favor I now ask through Julia’s intercession (insert intention)… 

I pray this through Christ our Lord. 

Amen.
 

your Comment will be showing after administrator's approval







b i u quote


Save Comment
Showing 0 Comment


People of African Descent on the Path to Sainthood

 

U.S. Black Catholic History Links

Black Catholic History page by Seattle University

Timeline from the National Black Catholic Congress

Sister Jamie T. Phelps, OP, discusses Black Catholics in America with Dr. Paul Lakeland for Fairfield University's "Voices of Others" video series

News report on one of the oldest Black Catholic parishes in the U.S., St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (formerly St. Monica) in Chicago, Illinois

 

Recent Posts

  • Hazel M. Johnson (1935-2011) Posted last week
    Hazel M. Johnson Hazel Johnson, a woman whose Catholic faith led her to a place that many feared to go, speaking truth to power, still challenges and inspires many in the environmental justice movement ten years after her death.    Here’s an account of her early life, according to a story by ...
  • Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA Posted last month
    Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA Servant of God “We unite ourselves with Christ’s redemptive work when we reconcile, when we make peace, when we share the good news that God is in our lives, when we reflect to our brothers and sisters God’s healing, God’s forgiveness, God’s unconditional love.”  These would be the ...
  • Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, OSP (1784-1882) Posted 2 months ago
    Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, OSP Who among us today has the courage to "battle the odds," even in our own church, to do the work God calls us to? Elizabeth Lange is a noble role model for all the obstacles we face! Elizabeth Clarisse Lange was born about 1784 in Santiago, ...
  • Venerable Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853) Posted 3 months ago
    Venerable Pierre Toussaint Pierre Toussaint was born into slavery in Haiti on a plantation owned by Pierre Berard. He spent his early life working as a house boy, and his grandmother taught him to read and write. When Pierre Toussaint was 20 years old, he, his sister, his aunt, and ...
  • Servant of God Julia Greeley Posted 4 months ago
    Servant of God Julia Greeley Julia Greeley was born into slavery on a Missouri farm sometime in the 1840s. As a slave, she was physically abused and became permanently lame. She lost an eye in a beating given to her mother. After the Emancipation Proclamation, Julia was brought to Colorado by ...
  • Venerable Augustus Tolton (1854-1897) Posted 5 months ago
    Venerable Augustus Tolton (1854-1897) Augustus Tolton was the first recognized Black Catholic priest in the United States. He was born in Brush Creek, Missouri, where he began his life “not as a human being, but as someone’s personal property, i.e. as slave of a white Catholic family.” Like many slaves, his ...
  • Venerable Henriette DeLille Posted 4 months ago
    Venerable Henriette DeLille, servant of slaves, pray for us! At a time when chattel slavery objectified and brutalized Black women’s bodies, and Christianity and the Catholic Church were deeply entwined with the system of slavery, Henriette DeLille laid the foundation for a religious congregation of Black women asserting the “sacred ...
Read More »