Open Wide Our Hearts: The Catholic Church Confronts Racism

The tragic death of George Floyd has ignited a public conversation about ongoing racial inequity and injustice in America. How can the Church uphold the dignity of all human persons and foster the common good during these contentious times? What issues do we need to address with our own Church that prevent an appropriate response?

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, is hosted this forum on the memorial of St. Peter Claver to provide an opportunity for formation and reflection on these critical issues in our community, and how we as a Church can respond. This forum was primarily for priests, deacons, educators, and lay ecclesial ministers and was also open to the public.

Attendees heard from Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Bishop John Quinn of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester along with the featured speaker and panelists. Scroll down to view their biographies.

Read Open Wide Our Hearts: The enduring call to Love and more resources on racism from the USCCB on their website

Featuring Bishop Shelton Fabre, Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux,

Chairman, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre was born October 25, 1963 in New Roads, Louisiana as the fifth of six children. He was ordained a Deacon in 1988 in Leuven, Belgium. A year later, he was ordained a priest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans to which he was ordained in 2007. He was installed Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in 2013.

Bishop Fabre received his MA in religious studies from the Katholiek Universiteit te Leuven in Louvain, Belgium in 1989. Additionally, he is a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and Knight of St. Peter Claver as well as a FBI Baton Rouge Citizens Academy in Graduate. Bishop Fabre serves in numerous roles within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops including former member and current chair of the Subcommittee for African American Catholics and current member of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Panelists:

Damon Clarke Owens

Damon Owens, international speaker and evangelist, is executive director of Joyful Ever After (joyfuleverafter.org). The first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute and chairman of the 2016 International Theology of the Body Congress, Damon founded Joyful Ever After as a non-profit ministry dedicated to encouraging and educating couples to understand and live marriage and family life together with joy through St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

Host of the 2020 Catholic Marriage Summit, presenter at the 2019 Catholic Family Life Symposium, 2017 USCCB Convocation of Catholic Leaders, and 2015 World Meeting of Families. In 2018, Pope Francis honored Damon with his Benemerenti Papal Medal in recognition for his work in support of marriage and family. Damon lives outside Philadelphia with his wife Melanie and their eight children.

Loralean A. Jordan

Loralean is an advocate for social justice in her church and community. She is a lifelong catholic and a member of the Church of St. Peter Claver in St. Paul, MN where she is currently the Director of the Gospel Ensemble and Chair of the Youth Ministry Committee. She was the Parish Council Chair (2003 – 2006) and Youth Minister (2002-2006).

In addition to her parish work, Loralean was chair of the Archdiocesan Commission of Black Catholics (2005-2012) and has been a member of the Commission since 2001. She served on the National Black Catholic Congress Youth & Young Adult Commission for several years. Loralean is a proud member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary serving in numerous roles: Co-Chair of the Dignity of Black Lives – Black Lives Matter Sub-Committee, Northern States District Parliamentarian and Grand Lady of Court #256.

“My parents raised me to become a black woman of faith and action by giving back to my church and community. Service is what I do.” Loralean A. Jordan currently resides in Brooklyn Park, MN.

Lannette Turicchi

Lannette Turicchi is a Catholic Convert, mother of three teenagers, and the wife of Scott Turicchi. She started her career at The Walt Disney Company as the assistant to the Head of Casting for Hollywood Pictures. Within Disney she’s also held positions as Vice President of New Business Development for The Walt Disney Gallery, and sales assistant for Discover Magazine, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Publishing.

Lannette later became the head of Non-Theatrical Distribution for DreamWorks SKG. In this role, she established the division and was responsible for sales, marketing, and distribution of all non-theatrical elements for DreamWorks Television and Film products.

Lannette is currently focusing her attention on public speaking and media projects. She produced and directed The Prophet of our Time, a documentary on the Pontificate, and the last three days of life of John Paul II. She produced The Bible & The Virgin Mary, and The Bible & The Sacraments for Dr. Scott Hahn and The St. Paul Center. Currently, Lannette is developing a romantic comedy –The Village Bride of Beverly Hills, and the feature-length film Syndrome K, for which she is the Executive Producer. Lannette is Co-Founder Emeritus of KnowTheGlow.org. She is dedicated to education and philanthropy through the Turicchi Family Foundation.