Community Conversation on Race

with Father Alan and Deacon Shiane 

Shrinking the Racial Divide


Many of us are struggling with the issue of the tragic persistence of racism and systemic injustice in the United States.

In June 2020, parishioners of St. Mary's and other community friends held on-line conversations about racism in our country and how to be an ally for justice, to fight against hate, and to teach tolerance and civility, focusing on our social responsibility and the call to action.


Leaders from our parish were Father Alan Dennis and Deacon Shiane Lee. Father Alan was born and raised in South Africa amidst Apartheid, was arrested at 16 years of age for fighting for equality, and then worked closely for decades with individuals such as Desmond Tutu to fight for equal rights for all. Deacon Shiane offered insight into her experiences growing up during the Civil Rights movement and shared her perspectives as an African-American woman in the Bronx, New York.