Headshot of Lorna wearing a blue dress and hoop earrings.

About your host

Lorna DesRoses Currently serves Black Catholics within the Archdiocese of Boston by supporting, assisting, and providing resources to assist in the work of evangelization within the Black Catholic community and assisting parishes and institutions to provide pastoral care in a culturally appropriate and culturally sensitive manner so that members of ethnic /cultural communities will feel welcomed, included and valued as part of the life of the Archdiocese of Boston. Before serving in this capacity, she worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language in various educational settings. Lorna strives to joyfully give witness to the Good news of the love of Christ with everyone she meets. She lives in Boston with her husband Robert.

“We unite ourselves with Christ’s redemptive work when we reconcile, when we make peace, when we share the good news that God is in our lives, when we reflect to our brothers and sisters God’s healing, God’s unconditional love.” Sr. Thea Bowman

About the Voices from the Pews Podcast

As Catholics in the United States, most of us may only experience our faith through a particular cultural lens. Yet, there are a growing number of people in the U.S., as well as people around the world, who live out and express their faith in ways that are not familiar to us. Over the years, I have had the privilege of experiencing the mass in many cultural traditions. Several years ago, my husband and I were invited to a good Friday Liturgy at a parish with a Chinese community. Although we didn’t understand the words being said, we felt profoundly blessed by the experience of joining in prayer even if the prayers were being said in a different language. On another occasion, I attended Mass in a parish with a Kenyan community. In this community, in addition to bringing up the bread and wine, during the presentation of the gifts during Mass, items such as fruit, vegetables and grain are brought up to the altar as a way of expressing gratitude and offering our best to God. That day, a woman walked up with her baby that was just a few weeks old as part of the offertory procession.  I learned from one of the ladies beside me that this new mother had had a difficult pregnancy and was now bringing up her newborn child as a way of expressing profound thanks and offering him as a gift to God. These and other experiences have served to deepen my faith in God, my appreciation of the beauty of the Mass and the universality of the Church. 

During the time that I have been in discernment about starting this podcast, one of the thoughts that has continuously come to my mind is that we are called to open wide our hearts to embrace the gifts found in the unity in our diversity within the Church. The U.S. Catholic bishops affirm that Cultural Diversity in the church is growing; as people from Latin and South America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean,and many other communities of non-European origin are present in our parishes and schools. In Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, A Pastoral Letter Against Racism, approved by the U.S. bishops during their General Assembly in the Fall of  2018, we are called to remember that we are brothers and sisters, all equally made in the image and likeness of God and so therefore we are to affirm the life and dignity of each human being. It is important for us to learn about and gain insights into the different cultures we may encounter so that we will be able to become the true representation of the beloved Christian community. 

This podcast, through engaging in a culture of dialog will feature conversations with Catholics of color so that we can learn more about each other’s faith, spirituality, and particular devotions and how these are expressed within each culture. I hope you will join me for these conversations.