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Issue 14 – Christmas 2022

Historia Ecclesiastica

He’s Here

On Dorothy Day Catholicism.


I was confirmed in 1989 at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Ann’s Church of Somerville, Massachusetts. It was my first Easter Vigil; it included all the readings and ended around midnight. When the time finally came for my confirmation, I was stunned and exhausted and glad that all I had to do was read the words from an index card saying that I affirmed as true all that the Church affirms to be true. That’s when I came into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, but my Catholic conversion started twenty-one years earlier, in my hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. 

If you’ve heard of Greenwood, it may be because it was the childhood home of Morgan Freeman and the burial place of Robert Johnson. Also, the alleged incident that led to Emmett Till’s murder took place just outside Greenwood. But my hometown’s greatest historic significance probably comes from its role as one of the major battlegrounds selected by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1962 in its campaign for black voting rights. The SNCC philosophy was to go to the toughest places first. When those cracked, the rest would surely follow—hence the focus on Mississippi, and Greenwood in particular.

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About the author

Danny Duncan Collum