Our Lady of Victory by Shirley Harris Slaughter chronicles the short history of a Black #Catholic Church in Detroit. Within its pages, we not only learn about some of the pastors of the flock, but also hear many personal anecdotal memories culled from interviews with former members.
Parts I & II are heavily laced with those memories, while Parts III & IV delve into more objective history. Although references are used throughout the book.
I’m not sure how to classify this book. Sometimes it reads like a subjective memoir, and at other times it reads like an objective history (I’m using the word “objective” on account of the citations made). I don’t mean this as a criticism, just an observation.
It is a sad yet triumphant story that reminds us of the accomplishments that real people can make as a community without reliance on the outside. However, and quite sadly, it also reminds us about how outside large interests can work to hinder a small group.
There were some conclusions that left me unconvinced. They could be true, but some sort of documentation should have been mentioned or cited. Notice that I said “some” and not “all.” There are plenty of valuable lessons to be learned in this book.
In an era when it seems like Anti-Catholicism has replaced baseball as America’s favorite sport, this is a refreshing look at priests, nuns and laity, namely their care, concerns, and dedication to the Church and to each other.
Nice job, Shirley!