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JesuiticalJune 21, 2024
Isaac Hawkins Hall, on the campus of Georgetown University, is seen in this file photo from April 4, 2017. Previously known as Mulledy Hall and later Freedom Hall, it was renamed in 2017 for one of the 272 enslaved men, women and children sold to plantation owners by Georgetown's Jesuit community in order to finance the school. Hawkins was the first enslaved person listed in the sale documents. (OSV News photo/Tyler Orsburn, CNS)

This week on “Jesuitical,” Zac and Ashley are joined by journalist Rachel Swarns to discuss her latest book, The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church. Rachel shares her wisdom about this important issue for U.S. Catholics and her experience as a Black Catholic, opening up a wide-ranging conversation about the work being done to repair such a grave injustice and promote racial justice in the church.

They discuss:

  • The history of Catholic slaveholding and the Jesuits’ involvement in the slave trade
  • The sale of enslaved people by the Jesuits in 1838, its impact on families and the reunion of the descendants
  • The efforts of Georgetown University and the church to repair this injustice

In Signs of the Times, Zac and Ashley cover Pope Francis’ recent meeting with comedians from around the world (and America’s editor at large, James Martin, S.J.). They then discuss the pope’s trip to the G7 in Italy and the concerns he raised in his speech about artificial intelligence. Lastly, they talk about recent polling from the Vinia Research Group that found that Catholics’ belief in the real presence in the Eucharist is higher than a 2019 report from the Pew Research Group would suggest.

What’s on tap?


Links from the show:

More: Race / History / Jesuits

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