I moved to Charlottesville when I was seven years old. I moved almost exactly 2 1/2 hours from my home in Maryland, from my friends, from my cousins. Moving is always traumatic I would imagine. I remember the sadness and the bitterness and the fear.
But I also remember the mountains.
I moved to rolling hills, crisp blue mountain edges, and a slower pace of life. My mom later told me she felt so isolated in Charlottesville and felt like we basically became the Waltons. But I never felt that way. I never felt like I went without. I absolutely loved Charlottesville. I still love Charlottesville.
When people have asked why the events of August 2017 have stuck with me in the way that it has, I imagine my response to be a very Catholic one; because places matter. We are Catholic, after all. We do strange things like visit someone’s dead bones and walk thousands of miles across the Spanish countryside. Places matter. They leave a mark on our hearts which you can’t always articulate until, unfortunately, something shocking happens. And all of the sudden, I had to think about MY PLACE in a different way.
In today’s episode and as we close Black History Month, we speak with the unbelievably kind Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, a prolific writer and speaker, about his new book, the importance of black saints, and what racism actually looks like in America, today. This conversation was so hard, and beautiful, and really helped me to make sense of my own questions about the events of recent years. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.
Finally, please take the time to read the new pastoral letter from the USCCB, “Open Wide our Hearts.” It is a vital read for all who desire racial reconciliation and peace.
God bless you all,
For more information on Deacon Harold and his ministry, please visit his website. If you’re interested in buying Deacon Harold’s book, Father Augustus Tolton, please visit the link to help spread the story of this incredible man.
Music for Today’s Episode:
Words and music by Shaun Garrison. © 2015 Shaun Garrison. As recorded on Exceeding. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Words and music by Ike Ndolo. © 2018 Hardspeak Records. As recorded on Shine. All rights reserved. Used by permission