Despite promising strides made in our lifetimes, racism still affects our nation and the Church.

To start the discussion, the Diocese of Albany and the Vicariate for Catholic Faith Formation and Education is sponsoring the webinar “Opening Wide Our Hearts: Our Faith Speaks to Racism” on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 4-5:30 p.m. The event will be streamed via Google Zoom.

The webinar, led by Dr. Kim R. Harris, offers prayer and reflection on the pastoral letter — “Open Wide Our Hearts” — distributed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In the pastoral letter, our bishops call us to “open our minds and hearts to Christ’s love for all people and to the experiences of those who have been harmed by the evil of racism.” During the webinar, participants can also expect conversation surrounding plans for action for this necessary and challenging work.

Harris is the assistant professor of African American Thought and Practice in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University. While pursuing her doctoral degree at Union Seminary in New York City, Harris composed the “Wel­come Table: A Mass of Spiri­tuals,” along with composer M. Roger Holland II. Along the way, Harris spent many years living within the Albany Diocese in Schoharie County. Harris also teaches, records and travels the nation, performing concerts and lecturing on the music of African American freedom traditions and leading music in a variety of liturgical settings.

For registration information head to:, or call (518) 453-6670. The cost is $10, which can be paid at the time of registration via PayPal or by check and mailed to the Office of Lay Ministry and Parish Faith Formation, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, N.Y., 12203.