My church…standing in the light.


Today, the readings included that most ubiquitous chapter of all, 1Corinthians:13 on love. Given what’s happened in Haiti and how many close connections to Haiti we have in our church, it seemed terribly poignant:

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Amen and amen.


Okay, so I’m Catholic. A practicing Catholic. And I am therefore supposed to (required to) go to church every Sunday. I am also (super old school here) supposed to tithe, i.e. give 10% of my income to the church. However, since I have a very modest (okay, pathetic) income and basically live off my husband, I’m just going to pretend– for the purposes of giving myself one day a week off from this blog– that I’m making a respectable income and go from there. So every Sunday – all year long –I’m going to be giving $100 to Our Lady of Lourdes, my amazing, adorable church in the heart of the Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark district in Atlanta.

Our Lady of Lourdes was founded in 1912 as an African-American Catholic community, financed by Mother Katharine Drexel – a rich Main Line, Philadelphia heiress who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and donated her fortune to serve Native American and Black people. From the steps of OLOL (no relation to LOL, kids) you can see Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his father, grandfather, and brother all preached), and the Auburn St. neighborhood infuses the church’s soul.

I love OLOL so much, it’s ridiculous. It’s small, it’s mighty, it has awesome music (thanks to our Minister of Music and chair of Spelman College’s Department of Music, Dr. Kevin Johnson), and it’s got Father John Adamski – our tall, rail-thin, challenging, intellectual, lovely priest. I’m not sure if you know many Catholics, but I can tell you for sure, we’re not the monolithic, homogenized, “jump to the Pope’s every proclamation” pack of lemmings that you may think. I, for one, believe that the church’s stance on birth control is socially irresponsible, morally insupportable, and just plain nuts.  But I also think the church’s position on poverty, social responsibility, gun control, the death penalty, immigration, health care, equality, civil rights, justice, and charity is truly inspired.

For these reasons – and for the reasons I’ll add every Sunday that I go to church and am freshly inspired (or spiritually challenged), I’m making this my weekly tithe. If you can find a church, synagogue, mosque or temple you love even half as much as I love Lourdes, you’ll feel blessed to support it, too. I promise.

3 thoughts on “My church…standing in the light.

  1. Well Betty,

    I would ask that you consider carrying Christ’s love further. “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love is not always the practical choice. The verse above is not a check we can cash to assume our own salvation….it is a commandment TO love. Even when it hurts. Please consider what this “pro-choice” battle is all about.

    I don’t want to think that Planned Parenthood wants to curtail the AA population, but it is their history and their practice. Please see how the battle goes in your back yard.

    Peace to you and yours,


  2. As a fellow Catholic in the south, I could not agree more with you. I too have a wonderful parish that is very supportive of social justice and ministry. Thanks for your witness !

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