All who seek to open wide their hearts through prayerful engagement with this letter are invited to pray, listen, study, reflect, and respond. This study guide and the resources within are designed to complement the pastoral letter and will aid in grasping the spirit and intent of the letter.
This resource is designed to illustrate how subconscious thoughts are often based on words, people, or objects that we commonly associate with each other. In Open Wide Our Hearts, the bishops write that these often unconscious biases contribute to a failure to value each person's dignity.
Rebuilding the Bridge: 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement - The U.S. recently celebrated the 50th anniversaries of several important civil rights milestones. To commemorate these important events and the contributions of many Catholics to the civil rights movement, Cultural Diversity in the Church and African American Affairs, in collaboration with several other organizations, has launched Rebuilding the Bridge: African American Affairs' 50th Anniversary Initiative.
The Racial Divide in the United States - Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D., Bishop of Belleville (Illinois) shares his thoughts on racism in his pastoral letter and study guide, The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015.
Letter from Birmingham Jail Study Guide - In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, Christian Churches Together, one of the largest ecumenical organizations in the U.S., offered a response and created a Study Guide to facilitate reflection either for groups or individuals. The webpage for this important document also has an additional introduction for Catholics to the Study Guide and an introductory letter from Bishop Madden and Bishop Flores.
Intercultural Competencies - This page explains the five competencies that were defined by the U.S. bishops in making "Recognition of Cultural Diversity in the Church" one of their priorities. The manual Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers can be found online or obtained in print from USCCB Publishing. Regional trainings on the competencies are being scheduled at this time. Visit the Intercultural Competency site often for updates. If interested in hosting or organizing a training, please contact Yolanda Taylor-Burwell at @email or 202-541-3152.