Growing up, Fr. Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., never thought much about race, racism, or racial justice except for what he read in history books. His upbringing as a white, middle-class Catholic shielded him from seeing the persistent, pervasive racism all around him. Horan shares what he has since learned about uncovering and combatting racial inequity in our nation and in our Church, urging us to join the fight.
In the spring and summer of 2020, US cities erupted in protests and racial tensions ran high following several high-profile killings of Black women and men at the hands of White police officers. As America watched and listened, many of us became dislodged from our comfortable assumptions about race. Horan recognized this unnerving dynamic as a doorway to the awakening and spiritual conversion he has been undergoing for much of his adult life. In A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege, Horan speaks prophetically to what has become a gnawing unease for so many. With candid critique and reflection, Horan helps us makes sense of crucial issues such as:
• The difference between what sociologists call common-sense racism and systemic racism.
• What is meant by white privilege and how it contributes to racial injustices.
• The Catholic Church’s teachings about racism, how those can still be developed, and what those teachings require of us.
• Combatting racism in our everyday lives.
As a white man, Horan shows his fellow white Catholics how to become actively anti-racist and better allies to our Black brothers and sisters as we work against racism in our culture and in the Church. He offers us the hope and surety of the Gospel, the wisdom of Catholic tradition, and some practical ways to educate ourselves and advocate for justice.
Each chapter includes a substantial suggested-reading list.
This book is perfect for individual or group study. A free, downloadable study journal is available at avemariapress.com.
A Note From the Publisher
“Written with wit, charm, and love, this book offers us a vital roadmap to healing and hope.”
Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J.
Author of The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice
“Important, urgent, and necessary.”
Rev. James Martin, S.J.
“Every Catholic needs this book and every parish should consider a small-group study of it!”
Rev. Matthew S. O’Donnell
Pastor of Saint Columbanus Catholic Church
“This book may be an uncomfortable read, as it will prick consciences and perhaps even anger some, but you should read it with an open mind and heart anyway.”
Catholic speaker and media host
“Fr. Daniel P. Horan offers invaluable guidance and resources for white Catholics who hope to recognize and respond in faith to the anti-Black racism in ourselves, in our society, and within our Church.”
Matthew J. Cressler
Author of Authentically Black and Truly Catholic
“This book provides essential and urgently needed perspective on our moral obligation to confront systemic racism and dismantle racist structures. Fr. Daniel Horan will inspire you to prayerful reflection and dedicated action to advance the God-given dignity of all people.”
Jennifer Mason McAward
Director of the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights
University of Notre Dame
Available on NetGalley
It is an evil which tears families, communities, and schools apart, an insidious scourge which leads to great suffering, even death. Racial injustice is an issue which cries out to heaven to be overcome. And so it is altogether fitting that Ave Maria Press has decided to take on this critical topic in A White Catholic's Guide to Racism and Privilege. In this candid and powerful work, Father Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M. offers a research-rich analysis of racial injustice in both society at large and in the Catholic Church. As Horan points out, ongoing conversion, otherwise known as metanoia, is needed to address racism in both the human heart and our nation as a whole. The author invokes the words of Pope Francis in discussing the urgency of the task ahead: "Racism is a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting." Thought-provoking and comprehensive, Horan's work challenges us to overcome apathy and discomfort in order to work for meaningful, lasting change.