This exhibit, which was inspired by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s 2018 pastoral letter on racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, launched in November 2019 as a traveling exhibit in the Diocese of Green Bay. This virtual exhibit is a way to share the project with a larger audience who may not be able to see it in person. The exhibit features photos of Catholics from various racial and ethnic backgrounds alongside written narratives that document what life in the church of the Diocese of Green Bay has been like for them as a person of color.
The purpose of this project is to provide the opportunity to listen to their voices and to open our hearts to their unique perspective on our parishes and schools. Please recognize that the stories shared here are unique to the individual participant and do not represent all people of their particular race, ethnic, or cultural group.
These stories are shared as examples of what some people have experienced and will hopefully inspire us to take steps to seek out and listen to the stories of others in our parishes and schools.
As you prepare to view this exhibit, we invite you to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to be present with you. Issues of race, diversity, discrimination, and inclusion are emotionally charged and listening to others’ experiences can be challenging to our own ways of understanding the world.
You can expect to feel a range of emotions as you view these portraits and read these stories. We encourage you not to stifle these emotions but to allow God to speak to you through them. Let them be a motivation and an inspiration for where God is calling you to take action on these issues.
“To work at ending racism, we need to engage the world and encounter others – to see, maybe for the first time, those who are on the peripheries of our own limited view.”
Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love – A Pastoral Letter Against Racism