Subversive Habits- An Evening with the Author

Written on: May 24, 2022

As you may know, The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) member Congregations have had racism as one of their focuses for several years. Given the recent blatantly racist mass killing in Buffalo, as Christians we know, once again, we are called to do everything in our power to confront this evil, often referred to as a moral epidemic clearly destroying the fabric of society.  Pope Francis, in his encyclical Fratelli Tuti says:

“Racism is a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting.”

The problem is so all pervasive that we can feel helpless. But there are some clear and available steps we can take so that whenever we have the opportunity or take the opportunity, to speak or write, informally or formally about racism we will have the tools needed to confront the issue in truth and humility. Below and attached is information about one of those opportunities from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA, are honored to sponsor the launch of the newly released and ground-breaking book, Subversive Habits: Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle by Dr. Shannen Dee Williams.

All are invited to join us in person or virtually at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required for both in-person or virtual attendance.  Deadline to register in person is May 27; virtual registration deadline is June 3.

In addition to Dr. Williams’ presentation, the Sisters of St. Joseph will share the story of their sin of racism and reconciliation with an African American woman, Dr. Patricia Grey, whom they denied entrance into their community because of her race in 1960.

Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Dayton and a historian of the African American experience with research and teaching specializations in women’s, religious, and Black freedom movement history.  Drawing on oral histories and previously sealed Church records, Dr. Williams demonstrates how master narratives of women’s religious life and Catholic commitments to racial and gender justice fundamentally change when the lives and experiences of African American nuns are taken seriously.

Here is the registration link:   with more details and attached is a flyer, which also contains the link.

The book has generated great interest nationally, and we expect a nice turnout at the event. Please feel free to forward this information to partner ministries, educators, or organizations whom you believe might be interested in hearing about this painful and important history of our African American sisters.

(Download flyer here: Subversive Habits Book Launch)

Barbara Hecht
Director of Communications, Sisters of St. Joseph

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