Responding to the Sin of Racism

Responding to the Sin of Racism
"We are living the wounds of many years of injustice in our local communities. But like all things in the Christian life, when we turn to Him, all can be made perfect in Christ. So, I want to acknowledge your suffering, to bring it into the light, so that we all together as a Catholic Church community can bring these wounds we share in Christ, to Christ for healing."

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron
May 29, 2020

Message from Archbishop Vigneron
After the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked outrage and prompted protests nationwide, including in the Detroit area, Archbishop Vigneron sent a letter to the Black Catholic community acknowledging the “deep, familiar, and soul-crushing ache” that had been reawakened by the incident.

Pastoral Note on Racism
In addition, the Archdiocese shared through social media the Archbishop’s 2018 pastoral note condemning racism as the denial of a person’s inherent dignity: Agents for the New Creation: A Pastoral Note on Christ’s Victory Over the Sins of Racism.

Archbishop Vigneron's Podcast: Racism and the Catholic Response in Detroit
In this special episode of the Eyes on Jesus podcast, Archbishop Vigneron leads an in-depth conversation on racism, protests and the Catholic response. The Archbishop is joined by our regular host Mary Wilkerson, parishioner at St. Michael the Archangel in Livonia, and our guest host, Fr. John McKenzie, Associate Pastor at National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak. The episode was released June 11, 2020.

Talking About Race As A Joyful Missionary Disciple
By Vickie Figueroa, from the Office of Cultural Ministries and Black Catholic Ministries.

Webinar on Catholic Teaching
On Saturday, June 6, the Archdiocese of Detroit hosted an online panel discussion, Inherent Dignity: Catholic teaching and response to the sin of racism. Father Ted Parker, pastor of St. Charles Lwanga Parish in Detroit, served as moderator with panelists Bishop Donald Hanchon, Auxiliary Bishop and Moderator of the Central Region of the Archdiocese of Detroit; John Thorne, Executive Director of the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, and Vickie Figueroa, Manager of the Office of Black Catholic and Cultural Ministries for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Agents for a New Creation: Responding to the Sin of Racism

Teresa Tomeo, host of EWTN’s Catholic Connection, moderates a discussion between Dr. Isaiah McKinnon, Former Police Chief of Detroit, and Archbishop Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit and Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on racial justice and the response of the Church in Detroit

Strong Faith - Vital Connections, Episode 1: Tough Talk on Race

What does racism look like and what does the Church say? What does scripture teach?

Join Vickie Figueroa from the Office of Cultural Ministries and Black Catholic Ministries, Fr. John McKenzie from the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, and Christina Hall from Dept of Missionary Strategic Planning in a conversation to help inspire, nurture, heal and grow the African American Catholic Community of Detroit and beyond. Special guest: Fr. Vic Clore.

Strong Faith - Vital Connections, Episode 2: Reaching Out

National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica Associate Pastor Fr. John McKenzie, Archdiocese of Detroit Director of Black Catholic Ministries Vickie Figueroa, and MSP Missionary Dcn. Steve Morello discuss evangelization in the Black Catholic community.

Strong Faith - Vital Connections, Episode 3

Vickie Figueroa, Fr. John McKenzie, and Christina Hall, are joined by Laura Knaus, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools, David and Yolanda Fuqua, Divine Child parents, and James Mio, Shrine High School Principal, to discuss Catholic Schools and the Black community. They reflect on what sets Catholic Schools apart and how they can create positive change among students in the Black community.

Strong Faith - Vital Connections, Episode 4

Vickie Figueroa and Christina Hall, are joined by Matt Mio, Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Detroit Mercy and Chair of the Unified School Board at Shrine Catholic Schools, Ivan Branson, Head Principal at Christ the King School, and Fr. Joshua Peters, Assistant Pastor at Christ the King and St. Suzanne - Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish to discuss the future of Catholic Schools and the Black community.

Confronting Structural Racism in SE Michigan: Where to Begin?

This webinar describes structural racism, share a brief history of its development, and how to dismantle it.


  • Peter Hammer, PhD, JD, Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and Professor at Wayne State University Law School
  • Vickie Figueroa, Multicultural Ministries Office
  • Eileen M. Smith, OFS Minister, St. Bonaventure Secular Franciscan Fraternity - Detroit

Open Door Policy Podcast Episode 58

Danielle Brown discusses the challenge of responding to racism as an African American and as a Catholic. Listen now.