I have been reading a number of articles regarding Sister Wilhelmina in Gower, Missouri. One thing keeps popping up that bugs the living daylights out of me! Tons of these articles (mostly the secular news sources but a few Catholic ones as well) keep referring to her as the "African American" foundress of the order. Yes, that is true, but if she had been Caucasian, would they have referred to her as the "white" foundress of the order? I doubt it! So many people today scream and yell about racism, yet if we just keep pointing out people who are "African American" then we are encouraging racism (how is this not stunningly clear to everyone on the planet?)! It does not matter if she was "African American" "Chinese American" or "Martian American" she is a Catholic woman who served God in this life, and is apparently continuing to serve God in Heaven.
Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost, where we are to remember that Christ united all people back together in the Church, where "there is neither Jew nor Greek"; nor is there black nor white, Chinese nor American. In the Church we are all one in Christ Jesus! If we, as Catholics, really believe that nationality and race do not matter, then let us make sure we do not give in to this horrible practice. You can call Sr. Wilhelmina a Catholic, a woman, a Benedictine, and even a traditionalist; fine, these are all ways to honor her. Do not, however, use terms that are unnecessary in the context and thus only serve to divide us where God wants us to be united.