Leveling The Praying Field: Can the Church We Love, Love Us Back?

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 March 2022

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“Ansel Augustine’s book is a love letter that contains some hard truths. But he offers it with the same hope that has sustained Black Catholics through our journey in and with this Church.  . . We trust that God can open the eyes of our fellow believers so that one day they will recognize the Real Presence of Christ in Black and Brown bodies.”—From the Foreword by Bryan N. Massingale

 “When we read this book, we are called to reflect on our true, radically centered identity as children of God, and therefore not to be misshaped or deformed by the world’s efforts to devalue or deny us our full humanity and freedom.”—From the Afterword by Bishop Fernand J. Cheri III, OFM

Thank God for authors like Ansel who with grace, courage, and authentic witness continues to bring light to issues of race and inequality in the church. His prophetic love letter will light a fire in you, challenge you, enlighten you, and change you. Leveling the Praying Field invites us to look inward and to “pray with our feet.” -- Christina LamasExecutive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

 In Leveling the Praying Field, Ansel Augustine offers a personal and historical perspective on issues of race and inequality in the church as he considers the challenges posed by the rise of Millennials, Gen Z, and future generations. A recent study on diversity in the Catholic Church revealed that 72 percent of Gen Z, which is majority non-white, consider racial equality to be one of the most important issues today. And yet the church has been slow to respond. This tells us that “ministry as usual” from a Eurocentric perspective will not work.

 In response, Augustine provides insights as to how the church can respond to racial injustice not only in our changing society, but more importantly, how the church can stay relevant and real for this justice-hungry generation.

Ansel Augustine, D. Min is from New Orleans, LA and has worked in ministry for over 20 years with a special focus on youth, young adult, and multicultural ministries. He has taught at several universities and colleges, including St John’s University, NYC and worked at various dioceses including the Archdiocese of New Orleans as Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries. A highly sought-after speaker who has presented at conferences and events worldwide, his advocacy for social justice is at the core of his spirituality and ministry.


Book Length:

Book Details

Leveling the Praying Field:
Can the Church We Love, Love Us Back?
Ansel Augsutine, DMin

Introduction (Augustine_Leveling_the_Praying_Field_Intro.pdf, 208 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (Augustine_Leveling_the_Praying_Field_TOC.pdf, 204 Kb) [Download]