Racial Harmony

Last updated: 9 months ago

The Office of Racial Harmony and their Archdiocesan Implementation Committee are fully committed to assisting all parishes, schools, administrative offices and individual Catholics of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in faithfully learning and implementing ways to promote racial harmony so as to build a more loving, accepting and respectful community. We are dedicated to addressing the sin of racism and working to change hearts and minds so that the rich blessings of pluriculturalism, diversity and ethnic inclusion will be appreciated. We desire to fulfill the command of Jesus – to live as one body, unified in faith.

In response to Pope Francis’ call to go out into the community to encounter and dialogue with others to
promote peace, the Office of Racial Harmony in collaboration with Catholic Charities and Isaiah 43 hold Peace Prayer Walks on the last Tuesday of every month. Locations of the monthly walks are published in the Clarion Herald. To receive e-mail reminders each month, please email srrooney@arch-no.org.

Relevant Documents

Made in the Image and Likeness of God, a Pastoral Letter on Racial Harmony: Discussion Series

Sessions are conducted by trained facilitators and all work is done in small table groups.Participants are encouraged to attend all four evenings in the series.For further information or to schedule discussions contact the Office of Racial Harmony by e-mail at srrooney@arch-no.org or (504) 621-4530.

Relevant Links

Mass Schedule


Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
3053 Dauphine Street
New Orleans, LA 70117
Sunday 12:00 PM

Christ the King
535 Deerfield Road
Terrytown, LA 70056
Saturdays at 6:30 PM

Our Lady of Divine Providence
1000 N. Starrett Road
Metairie, LA 70003
Vigil: 7:00 PM Spanish
Confessions 6:30 PM Sat

Immaculate Conception
4401 Seventh Street
Marrero, LA 70072
Sundays 12:30 PM

Nativity of Our Lord
3325 Loyola Drive
Kenner, LA 670065
Vigil 6:00 PM
Feasts 7:00 PM
Confessions Sat 5:45 PM

St. Anthony of Padua
4640 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
Sundays 9:15 AM

St. Clement of Rome
4317 Richland Ave
Metairie, LA 70002
Sundays 2:00 PM

St. Jane De Chantal
Abita Springs, LA 70420
Sunday 2:00 PM

St. Jerome
2400 33rd St
Kenner, LA 70065
Sunday 7:30 AM, 12:30 PM

St. Julian Eymard
2701 Lawrence St
New Orleans, LA 70114
Sunday 11:00 AM

St. Margaret Mary
1050 Robert Blvd
Slidell, LA 70458
Vigil 6:00 PM
Holyday Vigil 6:00PM

St. Theresa of Avila
1404 Erato St
New Orleans, LA 70130
Sunday 12:00 PM


Christ the King
535 Deerfield
Terrytown, LA 70056
Fridays at 5:30 PM

Our Lady of Lavang
6054 Vermillion Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70122

Resurrection of Our Lord
9701 Hammond St
New Orleans, LA 70127
Sundays 7:45 AM

St. Agnes Le Thi Thanh
1000 Westwood Dr
Marrero, LA 70072


Hanmaum (One in Christ) Korean Catholic Chapel
4812 W. Napoleon Ave
Metairie, LA 70001-2364
Sunday 10:00 AM
Wednesday 8:30 PM


St. Anthony of Padua Church
4640 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119ss
Sunday 7:30 PM

Racial Sobriety is a process which enables us to witness to ourselves and others that our thinking, feeling and acting reflects our commitment to seeing each person as a child of God, a member of the same human family, and our brother or our sister.   Throughout the workshop we become more aware of our own attitudes toward others and enter into the process of transforming our own hearts and minds so that we may begin to see others with “sober” eyes.  In this context “sober” means Seeing Others as Being Entitled to Respect.  When we are transformed we can begin to influence those around us and help facilitate their transformation, too.

Introducing Racial Sobriety is a 2½ - 3 hour facilitated workshop that introduces the audience to a unifying approach to begin the conversation on racisms (the varying manifestations of racism).  The experience includes an explanation of the three elements of talking about race that typically bring on anxiety: fear, ignorance and guilt.  It facilitates a discussion on finding one’s own “voice” in the conversation on racial issues; allows for a discovery of one’s “Racial History” and introduces other instruments for continuing one’s understanding of the Racial Sobriety approach. 

The Archdiocese of New Orleans provides facilitators certified by the Institute for Recovery from Racism.    For information on the institute visit www.racialsobriety.com.  To arrange for a workshop contact our office at 861-6272 or srrooney@arch-no.org

Consider becoming “Partners in Harmony” with another elementary school whose students have a different racial demographic or cultural heritage.

Hold a Partners in Harmony:

  • Picnic   
  • Cultural Field Trip and Lunch, one class at a time.
  • Lunch and Recess – each school host one class from the partner school.
  • Field Day.
  • Movie and Popcorn Night – each school host the partner school. 
  • Social activities for all adult groups, e.g., school board, faculties, etc. 
  • School Liturgy.  Mix your choirs.  Teach songs ahead of time to all classes.
  • Read Across America Day.  8th graders read to the Kindergarten students of partner school.  
  • Program Exchange.  Attend each other’s Christmas, Black History or other programs.

At your own school:

  • Faculty and Staff read and discuss Made in the Image and Likeness of God, a Pastoral Letter on Racial Harmony.  Discuss how it can be age-appropriately implemented at each grade level.
  • Include a daily prayer for racial harmony at assemblies, liturgies, school board and PTA meetings.
  • Hold a racial harmony prayer, poetry, essay and/or art contest.  Use the students’ prayers at assemblies, liturgies.  Display the art.   
  • Use the Kids’ Clarion to highlight your activities and to publish children’s prayers, art, essays and poems.
  • Have a year round bulletin board in foyer or cafeteria with a racial harmony theme.  Use it to post pictures of Partners in Harmony activities, students’ prayers, essays, poems and art.  
  • Have students interview their elders to learn the family history, cultural practices and celebrations.  Share these stories with their Partners in Harmony.
  • Hold a Multi-Cultural Day – invite speakers, story-tellers, musicians, chefs, college professors, artists of various racial/ethnic backgrounds.  Ask the guests to wear their native dress if possible.
  • Involve each class and their room parents in planning activities.
  • Teach the lives of the saints mentioned in the implementation plan of the pastoral, #4 under Recommendations for Parishes and purchase pictures and/or statues of these saints.
  • Insure that all races in the school are represented on Student Council, PTA and school boards.
  • Allow students to display their baby/childhood pictures on a classroom bulletin board.  Have them find pictures of babies of all races.  Help your class choose a caption such as “We are children of the Lord”, “Children of the King”,   “Jesus loves the Little Children of the World.
  • Ask the music teacher to teach a song to tie in with your bulletin board, e.g. “Jesus Loves the Little Children”.
  • Stock your library with multi-ethnic authors and books. When having a book sale, check that the company can provide multi-ethnic materials.
  • Beginning with your own students, read the folklore of all races and countries and explore the similarities and differences.
  • Celebrate the major holidays and feast days of all races.
  • Check out the many websites that promote racial harmony.

Become “Partners in Harmony” with a high school with a different racial demographic or cultural heritage.

Hold a:

  • Partners in Harmony Night – bowl, play basketball, always with mixed teams. 
  • Partners in Harmony Walk – witness to the city.  End with a picnic at a park or at one of the schools.  Involve parents, school boards, PTA boards, etc.
  • Partners in Harmony Cultural Field Trip and Lunch, e.g. African-American Museum.
  • Partners in Harmony Day – class from one school spend the day or part of a day at the other school and vice-versa.
  • Partners in Harmony Liturgy – campus ministry from one school brings choir and leads liturgy at the other school and vice versa.
  • Partners in Harmony Movie and Popcorn Night – watch and discuss a movie that deals with racial differences/harmony. 
  • Partners in Harmony social activities for all adult groups, e.g., school board, faculties. 

At your own school:

  • Study the pastoral, “Made in the Image and Likeness of God” with faculty & staff. 
  • Involve various departments in reading and discussing the pastoral with the students, e.g. social studies, religion, language arts.
  • Include a prayer for racial harmony at assembly, Liturgies, school board, and PTA mtg.
  • Hold a Racial Harmony prayer, essay and/or poetry contest.  Read writings at assemblies and send them to the Clarion Herald.
  • Have a year-round bulletin board with a Racial Harmony theme.  Post quotes from the pastoral, pictures of activities, and students’ prayers, essay and poetry.  
  • Study students’ own and other cultures and appreciate the differences as varied manifestations of God’s life in us all.
  • Hold a Multi-Cultural Day,  inviting professional, musicians, chefs, artists, etc.  Ask the guests to wear their native dress if possible.
  • Involve departments, e.g. social studies, religion, language, music in planning activities.
  • Participate in Read Across America Week.  Have one of your classes read to the kindergarten students of a local elementary school with a different racial/cultural background.
  • Stock your school library with multi-racial authors and books.
  • Celebrate the major holidays and feast days of all cultures.
  • Teach about the lives of the saints mentioned in the pastoral and display their pictures throughout your school.
  • Check out the many websites that promote racial harmony.

Suggested Activity to Promote Racial Harmony in Parishes:

Within Home Your Home Parish:

Participate in the study series on “Made in the Image and Likeness of God, a Pastoral Letter on Racial Harmony” by Archbishop Alfred Hughes. 

Form a parish racial harmony ministry.

Encourage the members of the racial harmony ministry, DRE, school and CCD religion teachers to attend “Race, the Power of an Illusion” and “Made in the Image and Likeness of God, a Pastoral letter on Racial Harmony” offered by ACCP/ORE.  Information is available from ORE or www.orearchdio-no.com.

Include a prayer for racial harmony in the Prayers of the Faithful at least once each month.  

Personally invite people from different racial/ethnic groups to be actively involved in the parish life, e.g. pastoral council, finance committee, school board.

Partner with a parish with an ethnically/racially different population.

Put announcements of interest from partner parish in bulletin.


With Partner Parish


  • lectors
  • pulpits
  • choirs


Examples of Joint Ministry Activities

  • Right to Life committees pray outside the abortion clinic together
  • men’s clubs meet for dinner and football night
  • Altar societies join to decorate both churches for Christmas
  • Choirs produce a joint Christmas Concert, go together to sing at senior residences and nursing homes
  • Parishioners picnic together on Family Day
  • Hold Men’s Retreat at one parish and Women’s Retreat at partner parish
  • Alternate missions, guest speakers, Advent and Lenten talks
  • Pray together - Eucharistic Adoration, Stations of the Cross, Rosary
  • Catechesis e.g. host classes offered by ACCP/ORE
  • CCD and school children participate in play morning
  • youth and young adult groups meet and plan activities together
  • service projects – Thanksgiving baskets, serving dinner to poor
  • social evenings
  • mixed team athletics

Implementation Committee

Ansel Augustine

Joe Cannatella

Sharon Edwards

Ingrid Fields

Maria Harmon

Nicholas E. Mitchell

Ronnie Moore

Mosanda M. Mvula

Jennifer Rogers

Joseph Rosolino

Jesse C. Stewart

Deacon Leo Tran

Walter Bonam, Chair

Sr. Teresa Rooney,CHF, Parish & School Liaison

Bishop Fernand Cheri, Executive Director