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Lecture 4 - 2020: African American Religious History Series: Racism in the Catholic Church in 19th Century America with Rev. William Graf

 Racism in the Catholic Church in 19th Century America: a Case Study


Racism in the Catholic Church in the 19th century reflected the attitude of many Americans towards people of color. Slavery, the Civil War, and the Period of Reconstruction challenged people to reconcile their religious beliefs with their social behavior. With that background the talk will address the life of an escaped slave whose father fought in the Civil War: his challenging journey to become the first African-America priest in the United States.


(Rev.) William Graf is a priest of the Diocese of Rochester who teaches at Saint John Fisher College. He is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department; the William and Helen Cavanaugh Chair of Catholic Studies. He holds academic degrees in history, education and theology as well as having extensive experience as a pastor. His life-long interest in history has framed his pastoral concerns for a commitment to social justice. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Central - Kate Gleason Auditorium
Central Library
  All Ages  

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