Finding My Catholic Home

Joanne Bray1 opened the International Catholic Liberation workshop with the facts that only six percent of the world’s Catholics live in the United States and two thirds of Catholics worldwide are colonized people, primarily of the global majority. She said we need to make the invisible visible, and we proceeded to make that happen for the entire workshop. I felt immediately recognized after feeling invisible my whole life—as a Catholic who is a Lesbian, a light-skinned mixed-heritage Black woman, and a raised-poor daughter of an immigrant.

The global majority people were put at the center, visible and vocal, from the start and throughout the workshop. That created a safe space for us to be more of ourselves. It enabled me to stand up on the first morning and honestly say how I felt as a light-skinned African-heritage woman and a Lesbian, to take my rightful place at the center of this Catholic community. I felt seen, accepted, and loved.

We were given the direction to stand against blame, moral superiority, and separation—to give it up no matter how comfortable it has felt, to stop blaming others: “I may feel bad, but they are worse than I am.” That thought separates me from so many people. I used the direction to reach through my restimulated distress for a white woman, and she reached back. As a result I was able to see her humanness and where her distress was coming from. No more separation!

I feel I have found the church community that I have longed for and searched for my entire life and that my family always wanted. I felt the power and the love of all of the good, caring, generous, passionate, and intelligent Catholics who were there. That was a tremendous contradiction2 for me.

I have found my home, a base from which I can continue to become more and more myself every day. What a blessing! I am so excited and hopeful about the possibilities and challenges that lie ahead, knowing I have this home.


Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of Catholics

1 Joanne Bray is the International Liberation Reference Person for Catholics.
2 Contradiction to distress


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00