A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege


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Format: Paperback

Publication date: September 3, 2021

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Winner of a 2022 Association of Catholic Publishers Excellence in Publishing Award: General Interest (Third Place).

Growing up, Fr. Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., never thought much about race, racism, or racial justice except for what he read in history books. His upbringing as a white, middle-class Catholic shielded him from seeing the persistent, pervasive racism all around him. Horan shares what he has since learned about uncovering and combatting racial inequity in our nation and in our Church, urging us to join the fight.

In the spring and summer of 2020, US cities erupted in protests and racial tensions ran high following several high-profile killings of Black women and men at the hands of white police officers. As America watched and listened, many of us became dislodged from our comfortable assumptions about race. Horan recognized this unnerving dynamic as a doorway to the awakening and spiritual conversion he has been undergoing for much of his adult life. In A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege, Horan speaks prophetically to what has become a gnawing unease for so many. With candid critique and reflection, Horan helps us makes sense of crucial issues such as:

  • The difference between what sociologists call common-sense racism and systemic racism.
  • What is meant by white privilege and how it contributes to racial injustices.
  • The Catholic Church’s teachings about racism, how those can still be developed, and what those teachings require of us.
  • Combatting racism in our everyday lives.

As a white man, Horan shows his fellow white Catholics how to become actively anti-racist and better allies to our Black brothers and sisters as we work against racism in our culture and in the Church. He offers us the hope and surety of the Gospel, the wisdom of Catholic tradition, and some practical ways to educate ourselves and advocate for justice.

Each chapter includes a substantial suggested-reading list.

This book is perfect for individual or group study.

Product Details

Pages: 224

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781646800766

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

Free Additional Resources

Download the Companion Study Journal

One of the main goals of A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege is to give you the tools to start productive conversations on racism, help you grow spiritually, and strengthen your commitment as a Catholic to working toward justice

This study resource includes prayers, journaling, and discussion prompts to help you interact with the ideas as you read along and includes suggestions for group facilitators for anyone who would like to make this book a group study. This guide is meant to help you grow spiritually and strengthen your commitment as a Catholic to working toward justice. It is perfect for use by parishes, small groups, classrooms, book clubs, and for individual study. Download it here

Collect your favorite quotes, discover recommended further reading, and create a plan for your next steps to implement what you learned from the book.  Download it here

This infographic sums up what the Church has to say about racism and how it affects our society. Download it here to share with your small group, classroom, friend, and family. 

Print a bookmark to share with your book club or yourself as a reminder of your promise to combat racism in your everyday life. Download it here

Fr. Dan Horan, OFM, on Racism and Catholicism
  • “A vital roadmap to healing and hope.”

    “Written with wit, charm, and love, this book offers us a vital roadmap to healing and hope.”

    Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J.
    Author of The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice

  • “Sorely needed today.”

    “A great book that is sorely needed today!”

    Rev. Matthew S. O’Donnell
    Pastor of Saint Columbanus Catholic Church
    Chicago, Illinois

  • “Read this book with an open mind and heart.”

    “This book may be an uncomfortable read, as it will prick consciences and perhaps even anger some, but you should read it with an open mind and heart anyway.”

    Gloria Purvis
    Catholic speaker and media host

  • “Invaluable guidance and resources.”

    “Fr. Daniel P. Horan offers invaluable guidance and resources for white Catholics who hope to recognize and respond in faith to the anti-Black racism in ourselves, in our society, and within our Church.”

    Matthew J. Cressler
    Author of Authentically Black and Truly Catholic

  • “Urgent.”

    “Important, urgent, and necessary.”

    Rev. James Martin, S.J.

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