Through the Lens of Human Rights

Today, Sister Ellen shared this article with me:

The Next Four Years for Indian Country Need Human Rights

It’s timely, indeed.

Last week, I had a brief engagement with our new pastor that left me feeling both very sad… and very angry. I’m still trying to decide how best to handle it.

In a brief discussion as he was dropping off some books that I offered to sort as he “cleaned out” the rectory as he moves his own stuff in, he told me that he “doesn’t see racism as an issue” here… nor is “racism a systemic issue.”

At first, I actually thought he was kidding. I mean, he’s ministering on a reservation that only exists because of racism… and he’s pastoring a Catholic Indian community here.

? He wasn’t kidding.

When I expressed my amazement at what he’d just said, he shrugged and told me, “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

I smiled and said, “Actually, no. Racism, including systemic racism, is a sin. I will not agree to disagree… it’s that important.”

He shrugged again, thanked me for taking on the sorting of books job, and departed.

Perhaps I’m not the kind of sister he anticipated. That’s fine with me.

Like I said… I am still trying to decide on a way to best handle this. It feels “different” than the racism non-tribal members here typically express, perhaps because it’s coming from someone who, I assumed, would at least understand SOMETHING of the history and reality here.

I guess I was wrong.

And, sad. And angry, too.

So, let me ask you to please pray for Fr. Gregg Frankman. And, for me, as I figure out a best approach… and for our Catholic Indian Community at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, who have just been informed that Fr. Gregg plans to close their parish “because it takes too much money to keep it open” and “they could just go to the other church anyway.”


St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.