Open Door Policy
Episode 58: Danielle Brown discusses the challenge of responding to racism as an African American and as a Catholic.
Jun 23, 2020 · 49 min
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Danielle Brown, the Associate Director of the Ad Hoc Committee on Racism for the USCCB, talks about our struggle with racism, the importance of looking to Scripture as "God's playbook" for guidance and the spiritual dimensions of needlepoint.

Rapid Fire Questions and Discussion 03:25
Danielle tells us about her early career as a needlepoint prodigy, an encounter with God in Ephesus and meeting Bono in the lobby of a Detroit Hotel.
Testimony 12:59
Fr. Steve begins by asking Danielle Brown about her relationship with the Lord. Sharing that while she always had the Lord in her life, it wasn't until her time at Michigan State that she was introduced to "Theology of the Body" and a community of people that changed her life and her involvement in ministry. Danielle Center asks about Danielle Brown's frustration with the approach taken by her ministry community and how that promted her to look for ways to get this information to a broader group of people. Fr. Steve asks about DB's mother and how she has been influenced by her mother's tenacity and prayer life. This leads to a discussion of the different voices of Jesus in the various books of the New Testament. Fr. Steve talks about the difference between being a new believer studying scripture and what happens as we grow as disciples learning from His word. Danielle Center talks about the comfort that comes from re-visiting scripture at various points in our lives as Fr. Steve ends this segment talking about his study of the Book of Kings in the Old Testament.
Unleashing the Gospel 27:17
Danielle Center dives right into the subject of racism and the how her discussions with people have been all over the map. She asks Danielle Brown about her experiences. Sharing that it's a challenge to counsel others about racism while dealing with her own emotional response to our country's current situation, she encourages us to take a different path and accompany others as Jesus would have us do, experiencing their struggles and pain. Fr. Steve asks if people seem to be more interested in having difficult discussions about race these days or are they retreating to their own camps. DB encourages us to not be afraid of these difficult conversations. She suggests that releasing the pain and the uncertainty will allow us to begin to understand each other more. She goes on to encourage people of good will to study the documents of the Church on the subject of racism and specifically mentions the Pastoral Letter ,"Open Wide Our Hearts" as a great place to start and that this conversation is one our country needs to have in order to avoid repeating the sin of racism for the rest of eternity. Fr. Steve asks about Danielle's work with the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee on Racism. Danielle Center asks about concrete steps the Church can take to change people's perceptions about racism. This leads to DB stating her concern that the Church doesn't love African Americans enough to evangelize and catechize them well.
Reflection 47:30
Because Danielle Brown feels that Catholics need to go to Jesus for help and guidance in these challenging times, she states her belief that the Holy Spirit has a particular message for the faithful right now and encourages all of us to study His "playbook" and always bring Jesus into the conversation.
Episode Summary 48:32

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