Anti-racism initiative

Made in God's Image: Pray and Work the End the Sin of Racism

In light of current events in our country and the need for ongoing work in the fight against racial injustice everywhere, Cardinal Gregory has announced the new Archdiocese of Washington initiative ‘Made in God’s Image: Pray and Work to End the Sin of Racism (CCC 1935).’

This initiative will include a wide range of pastoral activities and outreach including prayer, listening sessions, faith formation opportunities and social justice work.

Please join Cardinal Gregory, our auxiliary bishops, clergy, and staff as we pray and work together to proclaim Christ’s love for all people and work for justice for all.



Prayer Cards

This family prayer for justice and human dignity, available in several languages, was written by Cardinal Gregory and the auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Washington.

English  |  Spanish  |  French  | Chinese  | Vietnamese  | Portuguese


Mass on the Feast of St. Peter Claver and Day of Prayer and Fasting for Racial Justice

To commemorate the feast day of St. Peter Claver, a missionary saint who advocated for the dignity of enslaved people, the Archdiocese of Washington and Cardinal Wilton Gregory participated in a day of prayer and fasting for racial justice on September 9. This comes after Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, urged a day of prayer and fasting in response to racial and societal unrest in the country.

Cardinal Gregory celebrated a special noon Mass at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in St. Inigoes, Maryland.  Click here to view the replay of the Mass and to download a prayer card with a prayer for justice and human dignity written by Cardinal Gregory and the auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese.

Mass of Peace and Justice in commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington

On August 28, Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory celebrated a commemorative Mass marking the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech. Click here to view the replay of the Mass, and download the Mass program here.

Prayer and Reflection Resources

An Examen for Racism, a meditation and reflection to help analyze and become aware of participation in the sin of racism.

The Ultimate Sacrifice and Lay Down Your Life, written reflections from Ignatian Solidarity Network on confronting the sin of racism.


Events and Webinars on Racism

Public Dialogue on Racism in Our Streets and Structures

On June 5, the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University hosted a Public Dialogue on Racism in Our Streets and Structures: A Test of Faith, A Crisis for Our Nation with Cardinal Gregory.

Cardinal Gregory’s Online Discussion with the American Jewish Committee

On June 30, Cardinal Gregory discussed the role faith can play in overcoming racial injustice during an online discussion with the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

Introductory Statement from Cardinal Gregory’s discussion with Notre Dame students

On August 21, Cardinal Gregory participated in a discussion in an anti-racism course with students at Notre Dame University.

ADW Secretariat for Catechesis Webinar on Racism Resources

On November 24, in support of the ADW anti-racism initiative – Made in God’s Image: Work and Pray to End the Sin of Racism – the Secretariat for Catechesis developed a catechetical resource packet for adults, youth and children.

Anti-Racism Webinar with Bishop Roy Campbell and Bishop Mario Dorsonville

On January 11, the auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Washington participated in a dialogue on ongoing efforts to work and pray to end the sin of racism.

Town Hall on Police Reform

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, State Delegate Darryl Barnes (D-25), plus William Milam, vice-president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police, and Renee Montel Joy, of the public integrity unit of the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Office participate in a town hall on police reform in Maryland on October 6, 2020.

Sister Thea’s presentation to the US Bishops

Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA, devoted her life to sharing her rich African American Catholic heritage and spirituality in song, prayer, teaching and preaching. Watch Sr. Thea’s June 1989 address to the U.S. Catholic Bishops on Black Catholic Spirituality.

America Media: How the church can combat racism and white privilege

Father Bryan Massingale, author of “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” and Professor of Theology at Fordham University, joins America’s National Correspondant Michael O’Loughlin for a conversation on racism, white privilege and what the church can do to address these issues moving forward.

Articles and Blog Posts

Cardinal O'Boyle gives the invocation at the 1963 March on WashingtonHistorical insights from the March on Washington

In this article published in the Catholic Standard seven years ago, on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a few of those who were present for the historic event share their perspectives on what it was like to be a part of history.

Invocation by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle for the 1963 March on Washington

As we commemorate 57 years since the historic March on Washington, we look back on these words shared by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle, who gave the invocation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the march.

Dear White Catholics: It’s time to be anti-racist and leave white fragility behind, from America Magazine

Say Their Names, a blog post from the Catholic Standard

An anti-racism reading list, from the National Catholic Reporter

Black Voices Series: Interviews with local Black Catholics

Black Catholic VoicesCelebrate Black History Month by checking out our Black Catholic Voices series produced by the Catholic Standard in collaboration with the Office of Communications and the Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach! In recorded interviews, local Black Catholics reflect on their journey of faith, share their insights on combating racism, and affirm what gives them hope for the future.

Click here to explore the series on the Catholic Standard website.

Click here to download the series flier.

Open Wide Our Hearts

Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love is a pastoral letter from the full body of the bishops of the United States to the lay faithful and all people of goodwill addressing the evil of racism.

cross image with text reading "open wide our hearts"The pastoral letter asks us to recall that we are all brothers and sisters, all equally made in the image of God. Because we all bear the image of God, racism is above all a moral and theological problem that manifests institutionally and systematically. Only a deep individual conversion of heart, which then multiplies, will compel change and reform in our institutions and society. It is imperative to confront racism’s root causes and the injustice it produces. The love of God binds us together. This same love should overflow into our relationships with all people. The conversions needed to overcome racism require a deep encounter with the living God in the person of Christ who can heal all division.

National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry Resources

The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry has developed a variety of resources to address racism and discrimination. Explore the resources here.

USCCB Resources

The USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism seeks to teach about and witness to the intrinsic dignity of the human person as an antidote to the grave sin of racism. Explore the articles, statements, letters and other resources compiled by the USCCB.


Resources for ADW Catechists

The Secretariat for Catechesis has developed the following resources:
Pray and Work to End Racism Packet (Spanish) | Youth Against Racism Confirmation (Spanish)

Additional Resources

Knights of Peter Claver Social Justice Resources

Loyola Press – Everyone Belongs Activities

We Are Salt and Light – Questions to Facilitate Encounter

Smithsonian’s “Talking About Race” resource

For more information, contact the Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach.