A pilgrimage through these stories is truly mind-opening and promotes awareness of the trials some people in our midst have had to face. I am so grateful for the participants who have courageously shared their stories. As followers of Christ, we are called to listen to their words and to accompany anyone who has felt on the margins of our church and our community.
-Bishop David L. Ricken
As Christians, we are called to listen and know the stories of our brothers and sisters. We must create opportunities to hear, with open hearts, the tragic stories that are deeply imprinted on the lives of our brothers and sisters, if we are to be moved with empathy to promote justice.”
- Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love – A Pastoral Letter Against Racism
Inspired by the 2018 pastoral letter against racism from the USCCB, the Open Wide Our Hearts photo exhibit provides an opportunity for viewers to learn from the experiences of people of color in our Catholic communities. Launched as a traveling exhibit in November 2019, the project features photos of Catholics from various racial and ethnic backgrounds alongside written narratives that document what life in the church has been like for them as a person of color.
In addition to the traveling exhibit, we are excited to announce the launch of the new Open Wide Our Hearts virtual exhibit. This online version allows us to share this project with a wider audience, especially as ministry has shifted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To see the virtual exhibit, go to www.openwideourheartsgb.org.
Whether in person or virtually, we invite you to experience this exhibit and be inspired by the witness and challenged by the words of our participants. We pray that this exhibit will help all of us as Catholics continue to build a church where all are welcome.
Upcoming Exhibit Dates:
- April 23-May 1, 2022: St. Agnes Parish, 1484 9th St., Green Bay
- See the exhibit after masses: Saturday – 4:15 pm | Sunday – 8, 9:30, 11 am
Also, you can always visit the virtual exhibit at www.openwideourheartsgb.org.
If you are interested in hosting the exhibit at your parish or school, or if you would like to discuss how you can use the virtual exhibit in your community to begin or continue a conversation about race, please fill out the Host Location Interest Formor contact Peter Weiss by phone or email (see contact information below). Whether you need help planning an event, promoting the exhibit in your community, or developing lesson plans, we would be happy to assist in any way we can.
Exhibit Coverage in The Compass Newspaper
- By Fr. Celestine Byekwaso: ‘Racism is a reality, but we can overcome it’ (08/26/20)
- Column by Khou C. Thor: Catholics of color describe challenges they face in the church lacking diversity (07/29/20)
- Diocese presents photo exhibit on ethnic diversity (10/11/19)
- Editorial: Take advantage of photo exhibit (11/20/19)
- ‘Open Wide Our Hearts’ photo exhibit invites viewers into dialogue on racism (11/22/19)
Images captured by Sam at Daveau Images.