Special Episode: Healing the Racial Divide

Fr. Josh dedicates today’s show to talking about the racial divide in our country, amidst the mourning of George Floyd, and offers some counsel on ways we can heal this form of division in our country. 

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


“George Floyd is the Body of Christ”


We pray for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and all those who have died under racist motivations. We also pray for our country during this time of division and violence, as well as the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

Seven things you can do to help heal the racial divide in our world:

  1. Pray the Litany of the Body of Christ
    1. “[Insert Name] is the Body of Christ.”
  2. Pray the rosary for racial reconciliation
  3. Visit other Catholic parishes, especially those of a different race, and worship with them
  4. Spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament repenting for the sins of others
  5. Do your own research on racial division, even if you don’t agree with everything being said, and pray after listening 
    1. Watch the documentary on Netflix, The 13th 
    2. Read articles and books like the White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    3. Listen to podcasts speaking on the racial divide
    4. Follow black or brown voices on social media like Chika Anyanwu and Avera Maria Santo
  6. Take a pilgrimage to the Equal Justice Initiative Museum and Memorial
  7. Protest places that don’t allow colored memberships and diversity like country clubs, Mardi Gras balls, private schools, and Catholic conferences

Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.


  1. Fr. Josh, I think we can be more sensitive about some things, but if some African Americans enter a Catholic Church and St. Michael is “white” and Satan is “brown”, so what? Does it fall on the beholder to look into the history of the Church? For example, was that church built by European immigrants? If so, isn’t it okay that they create the frescoes the way they wish? The Church has defended the rights of peoples to depict Jesus, Mary, etc. as part of their culture and so many have done. OLG herself came as mestiza. OL of Akita came as Japanese. OL of Fatima was white, European, and spoke Portuguese. Same with OL of Lourdes, coming as white and speaking French. If I walk into an AA Catholic church and the angels and Jesus are black, that makes sense! Praise be to God! Maybe some of these issues are with historically European parishes (Polish, German, Irish, Croatian, etc.) are in areas where the demographics have changed dramatically. Where white, European immigrants once lived, now African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. now live. Should we also change the motif used in the Bible of light being compared to Truth and darkness being associated with evil? I hope this makes sense. God bless!

  2. I am an American of Mexican decent. I sometimes feel very bad for white people, for our country that is being accused of being a racist country and a predominantly white racist population. I am 60 years of age and although I agree there are people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds that can me prejudice/racist, I don’t believe All white people Should be shamed and treated as if they have been slave owners. Most white people living in this era are not like the people that lived when slaves were owned by white people. How long will they have to suffer for the actions of slave owners who they have no connection with and never have! I just can’t grasp that!What happen to forgiveness? What happen to George Floyd was horrible, but it was done by 4 men who are evil. This is why we are being divided, because we keep using the word “white and racism” in the same sentence by almost every one in the news who has an agenda and that is To the devils work!

  3. Fr. Josh,

    Racism is in the mind, the thought your race is superior; bad rude behavior is everywhere, thats not racism.

    If someone takes my parking spot, does not hold the door for me when my hands are full, is rude, not raciest.

    If someone offers me food or drink they think I would like because I am a women (white wine vs. red, or a beer) or on being Iranian, offer me dough a great yogurt drink. Or fried chicken and greens b/c I am from the south is not racism they are trying to be hospitable. If I get upset thats my judgement of them not theirs of me.

    BLM – is not helpful it is hurtful –
    At a December 2014 BLM rally in New York City, marchers chanted in unison: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.”
    At a BLM march in August 2015, protesters chanted : “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” (“Pigs” was a reference to police officers, and “blanket” was a reference to body bags.)

    Check out Project 1776:https://freebeacon.com/issues/new-1776-initiative-aims-to-counter-lethal-narrative-of-1619-project/

  4. Hi Father Josh, I love you and I love your podcast. I listened to this show, as well as your live stream with Jeff Cavins, and I look forward into diving into the one with Fr. Mike soon!

    Believe me when I say I’m coming in with the most open and sincere heart. Just to give some context, I’m first generation Canadian, and all of my family here are immigrants. I have grown up with a plethora of different races and cultures. I have seen all races and cultures ensue hate and love on one another. And yes, sadly I’ve witnessed among many cultures and races, a muted disdain for black people. It shatters my heart. So…I hear you and what I believe people of the black community are rallying against. And I don’t want to take anything away from that.

    I will say I don’t have much experience with one race parishes because where I live is so diverse, so it’s a really foreign concept for me. But I’m all for the making the changes in the Church to include more representation, for example like our art.

    However, something in my heart (I’m hoping it’s the Holy Spirit), says to be weary of the BLM organization. I ask about them because they are the stronghold of mobilizing what is happening presently. I’m definitely on board with Black Lives Matter as a concept, and healing the suffering that has happened. However, in seeing how BLM operates in my own region, not just online, something about it doesn’t sit right with me. They exclude Black voices that aren’t in line with their abrasiveness, and aren’t even open to dialogue with their own people. The Chief of Police in our major city is a black man and they’ve bailed out twice on meeting with him.

    I fear that BLM is hijacking the legitimate injustices of black people and any person of colour, in a similar way that predominant feminist movements hijacked femininity to address wrongs done to women. I wasn’t alive when this was unfolding so I wasn’t able to do anything about it. BUT, I live in the after math of it, and we know what that looks like – abortions, the deterioration of the family, etc. At this point, there’s no saying what the potential aftermath is, hopefully good, but that remains to be seen.

    Is my fear unfounded? How do we navigate with the truth of fighting for justice, yet battle these misguided secular voices that have a lot of control over society? How do we make sure they don’t push a more harmful agenda that doesn’t solve the injustice it meant to do, but worsens it?

    I’ll continue to pray for you, the church, the world, and our healing!

    Thank you!


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