Where Peter Is. “Last Place Seen” and the Stumbling Block of Incarceration. Few Catholic authors today write crime thrillers with Catholic Social Teaching in mind, and even fewer receive accolades for their efforts. This makes Alessandra Harris, Catholic, and Bay Area native, a rare voice in today’s Catholic literary milieu. In her latest novel, Last Place Seen, her third with Red Adept Publishing, she successfully imbues a cultural realism with a backdrop of Catholicism that centers on those formerly incarcerated. Continue reading.
The true Catholic history behind ‘The Woman King.’ The action-packed film “The Woman King,” released on Sept. 16, debuted at No. 1 at the box office opening weekend, earning $19 million and garnering 1.4 million viewers in its first three days. However, the movie, starring an all-Black female-led cast, has created controversy over its depiction of the Kingdom of Dahomey, or present-day Benin in West Africa. Continue reading.
3 Things Catholics Can Do To Fight Racism. The church’s pro-life advocacy has been widely discussed recently, so it is worth remembering that Pope Francis directly linked anti-racism efforts and pro-life principles two years ago in a reflection during a general audience on the protests in the United States shortly after the murder of George Floyd. “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” he declared. Continue reading.
Black Catholic Messenger When I was ten years old, I attended the Walk for Life in San Francisco with my best friend and her family. We took a bus to the city with a group from the Catholic church and school we attended. What I still vividly remember to this day, and what had a huge impact on my life, was a short video shown that depicted the reality of abortion. There were images of aborted babies that looked like tiny, formed humans being discarded like trash. Continue reading.
America Magazine Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released his address to the Congress of Catholics and Public Life being held in Madrid, Spain. In the address he stated that an elite leadership class has risen around the globe, one that has little interest in religion and no real attachments to the nations in which they live or to local traditions. Archbishop Gomez described the social justice movements as “pseudo-religions, and replacements and rivals to traditional Christian beliefs.” As a Black Catholic engaged in social and racial justice movements, I can’t help but see some irony in Archbishop Gomez’s statement. It is, in fact, my traditional Christian belief that spurs me to make connections between my faith and the Gospel call for justice. Continue reading
U.S. Catholic When a friend told me she was discerning her charisms a few years ago, I have to admit I didn’t know what she was referring to. Recently, I took a course in conjunction with Catherine of Sienna Institute to learn about the twenty-two different charisms and the specific ones God has gifted to me. Charisms are supernatural spiritual gifts given to people at baptism for the good of the church. Though we all have personal, professional, and vocational goals in life, we often forget that God has also created us for a purpose and mission on earth that will build God’s kingdom. Continue reading.
Grotto Network As the racial justice movement has picked up steam, consciousness of the systemic racism faced by people of color has overwhelmed Alessandra at times with anger, hatred, and sadness. Forgiveness and reconciliation sometimes felt like the last things she could offer. This is the story of how she discovered that mercy is not only a powerful tool in our work for justice, but perhaps the only way to bring about change. Continue Reading.
Where Peter Is The fourth installment of our Women of Color in Catholic Media interview series is a candid conversation with author Alessandra Harris. We explore several topics, ranging from her books to the global debt crisis to the racial demographics in Catholic media. We also discuss how she manages life’s balancing act as a writer and a mother of four. Finally, she offers a challenge for all readers of Where Peter Is. Continue reading.
Of Dust & Divinity Podcast We could not be more honored to have Alessandra Harris be our premier guest on Season 2! Alessandra is an author of multiple novels and describes herself as a progressive black catholic. She brings so much truth in this episode as we explore the pathway to authorship, the dehumanization of mass incarceration, and why, despite it all, she chooses to remain a Catholic. Listen to the podcast.
FOLK PHENOMENOLOGY is a podcast by Sam Rocha. This episode features an interview with Alessandra Harris on her work as an author of fiction and co-founder of The Black Catholic Messenger. Listen to the podcast.
Alessandra loves to encourage people by spreading the Good News, advocating for racial justice, and raising awareness about mental health.